Construction staff ignorant of killer asbestos

There is widespread ignorance among workers of the health risks posed by asbestos, a survey has suggested.

A study by the British Lung Foundation (BLF) found that nearly one-third of builders, plumbers, carpenters and electricians wrongly thought it had largely been removed from British buildings, and nearly two-thirds had received no training in how to deal with asbestos.

The poll of nearly 400 people also found that just 12% knew asbestos exposure could be life-threatening, despite the fact that one person dies from mesothelioma every five hours in the UK, said the charity.

Twenty workers die of asbestos-related diseases every week, and asbestos exposure is Britain’s biggest workplace killer, it added.

“It is a great worry that those most at risk know so little about a killer that could be lurking in the building they’re working in,” said BLF chief executive Dame Helena Shovelton.

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