Evidence for the inclusion of loose fill asbestos in "common materials that may contain asbestos"

D. Collins made this Freedom of Information request to Health and Safety Executive

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Health and Safety Executive did not have the information requested.

Dear Health and Safety Executive,

Your web page on asbestos lists loose fill asbestos in cavity wall, ceiling and loft spaces as the first item under "common materials that may contain asbestos". I have been unable to find, either on the Internet or by telephone conversations with three large asbestos abatement firms, any example of the use of asbestos in this way in England.
Your publication 'The Asbestos Survey Guide says "Bulk loose fill insulation is now rarely found", and "In some areas near asbestos works it is not unknown for loose asbestos to have been used as a readily available form of loft insulation", but provides no citation.
I wonder if you could provide me with the source of information on this matter. This could be just a link to any wide ranging study of loose fill asbestos occurence, or examples of where it has been found domestically (with some indication of frequency), anything really which helps build a picture of how "common" it is to find asbestos in this form in domestic properties, but I'm looking for the actual source of your data, not the HSE's opinion on the matter.

Yours faithfully,
D. Collins

Health and Safety Executive

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1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    FoI Acknowledgement letter Mr Collins Deadline 25.10.17 Evidence for the inclusion of loose fill asbestos D Collins 2017 09352.docx

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Dear Mr/Ms Collins,

Please find attached your Freedom of Information Acknowledgement letter. Please note that our deadline to reply to you is 25/10/17.

Please quote the ref. no. 2017/09352 in case of query or with any communication with us.

Many thanks.

Regards,
Louise
Louise McLaughlin
PA to Peter Brown, EPD Deputy Director
Executive Support Team | Engagement and Policy Directorate 
Health and Safety Executive | Desk 47, 5S.3 Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle, Merseyside, L20 7HS
Working Pattern: Monday – Wednesday (inclusive)
+44 (0)151 951 4046 (direct line) / VPN: 523 ext. 4046
/[email address]
+44 (0)151 951 3932
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Health and Safety Executive

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    FoI Acknowledgement letter Mr Collins Deadline 25.10.17 Evidence for the inclusion of loose fill asbestos D Collins 2017 09352.docx

    27K Download View as HTML

Dear Mr/Ms Collins,

Please find attached your Freedom of Information Acknowledgement letter. Please note that our deadline to reply to you is 25/10/17.

Please quote the ref. no. 2017/09352 in case of query or with any communication with us.

Many thanks.

Regards,
Louise
Louise McLaughlin
PA to Peter Brown, EPD Deputy Director
Executive Support Team | Engagement and Policy Directorate 
Health and Safety Executive | Desk 47, 5S.3 Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle, Merseyside, L20 7HS
Working Pattern: Monday – Wednesday (inclusive)
+44 (0)151 951 4046 (direct line) / VPN: 523 ext. 4046
/[email address]
+44 (0)151 951 3932
http://www.hse.gov.uk/

Find out more and join the conversation #HelpGBWorkWell.
Follow HSE on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest

Health and Safety Executive

2 Attachments

Please  find attached letter  in reply to your recent request.

 

Helen Ratcliffe

Asbestos Policy Team

Health and Chemicals Unit

Chemicals Regulation Division

5 S 3 Redgrave Court

Merton Road

Bootle

Merseyside

L20 7HS

 

[1]www.hse.gov.uk^[1]

[2]http://newscentre.hse.gov.uk/wp-content/...

^[2]

 

Dear Health and Safety Executive,
Ref. 2017/09352
Thank you for your response. I remain slightly confused and so would like some clarification. Unless I'm misreading your response you seem to be saying that loose fill asbestos is very rare and that you have no actual data on its frequency other than a previous document which simply confirms that it exists.

As I understand it, asbestos was used in a huge number of odd places and could turn up virtually anywhere. To put the public into a state of panic that every attic, underfloor crawl space and cavity in their homes might contain a lethal substance without any published reassurance that this is extremely unlikely (based on the evidence) seem reckless at best. It's top of your list entitled "common materials that may contain asbestos", the key word here being common. The presentation of this information gives a complety misleading impression of the risk to householders.

I don't know if you are aware that this month we have recently had World Mental Health Day, government bodies have been encouraged to consider mental health issues at all levels. You also may not be aware that sufferers from Anxiety and stress are ten times more likely to die by suicide than average, a rate which, in the UK is already a shocking 1:150 before the age of 55. In terms of years of life lost, anxiety and stress cause more harm than asbestos exposure by a factor of nearly 1,000.

Would you please take a bit more care and responsibility for the way in which your data presentation might affect the millions of vulnerable people in the country. Reassurance probably saves more lives than scaremongering.

Yours faithfully,

D. Collins

Health and Safety Executive

Thank you for emailing the Health and Safety Executive. This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email.

Please note this email account is for the submitting of FOI requests via the 'whatdotheyknow' website only. For all other FOIs requests please refer to http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...

HSE publishes a comprehensive range of information and guidance on our website. You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching under the relevant topic or industry section, and all of our publications are free to download. HSE does not operate a telephone helpline for general health and safety information. If you need to engage the services of a health and safety consultant, you may wish to visit the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

If your email is a request for advice, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/informatio...

If your email is about a concern, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/complaints...

If you wish to report an incident, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/index.htm

Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Safety Executive

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Link: [1]File-List
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Dear Mr/Ms D  Collins  

 

Our Ref ( In connection with) FOI Ref. 2017/09352

 

You have written a lengthy reply to our answer to your question via the
What do they know website.  In our original reply you were advised to
consider using the advice function on HSE’s website and this is
especially applicable given that your recent reply is mainly discussing
and commenting on options around the risks of managing asbestos in situ
contrasted with the risk of removals and the focus of HSE asbestos
regulation.  Information is already publically available you refer to
published reports.  However HSE is of course willing to discuss further
through the public advice system (though we cannot enter into extended
correspondence),  but as this discussion will not be under FOI/EIR please
will you let us have your direct person e-mail or postal address and we
will contact you directly.

 

You can notify your details through the [3]advice enquiry form but mark it
for the attention of the Asbestos Policy.     

 

Regards

 

Concerns and Advice Team (CAT) | Operational Services Division 

Health and Safety Executive | 2.3 Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle L20
7HS 

 

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