Asbestos row is over

PUBLISHED: 10:28 17 March 2006 | UPDATED: 21:46 28 May 2010

FENLAND District Council has revised its guidelines for handling asbestos after an incident in Chatteris in which its workers are said to have removed asbestos without wearing protective masks. A woman who waited three months for asbestos to be removed fr

FENLAND District Council has revised its guidelines for handling asbestos after an incident in Chatteris in which its workers are said to have removed asbestos without wearing protective masks.A woman who waited three months for asbestos to be removed from her back garden claims the workers ignored safety guidelines when they finally cleared it. Fenland Council has denied the asbestos presented a health risk but does accept the garage should have been removed sooner.Diane Ashley says she waited from December to last Wednesday for a dismantled asbestos shed to be taken away from her home, but bits of asbestos remain embedded in the lawn.And she says the asbestos may not even have been moved last week had the Cambs Times not contacted the council to ask why it was still there after charging a former tenant for its removal.A council spokesman said: "In the damp winter conditions the low-risk asbestos cement board is not considered a danger as there is no dust given off. However, the council accepts that the rubble from the demolished garage should have been removed before the family moved in and, as a result, guidelines on the removal of such waste have been revised."Had the asbestos material been the blue variety contained in roof insulation products, council workers would not have been allowed to touch it and disposal would have had to be handled by specialist contractors."Mrs Ashley says she is concerned that asbestos fibres in the air may have contributed to her 15 year-old son's pneumonia.Her ex-husband Paul said: "Workmen came round to bag up the asbestos on the Wednesday but not one of them wore a mask. When they came back on Friday were they wearing masks for the first time."The asbestos is the remains of a garage the council ordered to be cleared when former tenants Hiram and Joan Fuller moved from the Tithe Road council house.

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