Nichol Associates

Nichol Associates

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Fly tipping of asbestos is a hot topic north of the border too

While fly tipping is a common problem throughout the UK, most stories connected with dumping asbestos waste seem to come from England. However, as recent reports from Glasgow have shown, it is a problem north of the border too. Newcastle based Asbestos specialists Nichol Associates say we all need to be braver in dealing with those dumping asbestos and making them aware of the grave risk they pose to others and themselves by their recklessness and ignorance.

People trying to save a few pounds dumping building waste means someone has to pick up the tab for its removal. Removing this waste is estimated to cost the Woodland Trust in Scotland £30,000 with the problem said to be acute in the woods around Glenrothes and Livingston. But while cost is one thing, in a few decades time the unseen cost of dumping asbestos could be in human lives.

“Those dumping this asbestos need to understand that this is not a game,” said Nichol Associates Managing Director Dave Nichol. “Builders thinking they have done something clever by saving a few quid not getting caught could pay a far higher price in years to come. If they have breathed in asbestos fibres and develop mesothelioma, there is no known cure. If the fibres are on their clothes, members of their family could be unwittingly breathing in a killer too and I wonder if this has ever crossed their minds. For their own sake as much as anything else, this must stop.”

Asbestos remains the biggest cause of work related deaths in the UK and far too many (deliberately or unwittingly) flout the law and asbestos regulations into the bargain, risking their own lives and the lives of others in the process.

Woodland Trust Scotland pointed out that the thousands of pounds spent on dealing with fly tipping is money that could be better spent and has asked members of the public to visit a wood, pledge to plant a tree or pick up litter. Dave Nichol does have a warning for those keen to help the trust by picking up litter – never be tempted to pick up anything that may contain asbestos.

“Asking the public to pick up litter is a great idea, but we must ensure they only collect recognisable items,” warned Dave. “Asbestos takes many forms and it’s not always easy for the untrained eye to identify and can often be concealed in building materials. The best advice is to pick up only obvious litter and report suspicious building materials to the authorities.”

If in any doubt, asbestos should not be approached. The high risk categories to watch out for are insulating board (AIB), lagging and sprayed coatings, as lagging was widely used for insulation of pipes and boilers in the 60s and 70s. The real fear is people coming into contact with crocidolite or ‘blue asbestos,’ as this is the most lethal form and only a licenced contractor can work on this type.

Asbestos related diseases can take 20 years to develop and there is no cure. If in any doubt, experts like Nichol Associates has spent years training the next generation of asbestos removal specialists and advising organisations throughout the country on such matters although anyone in any doubt can consult the company’s website at for advice.

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