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Thugs face hidden dangers from asbestos

PUBLISHED: 12:45 08 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:42 03 March 2010

VANDALS risked asbestos poisoning, after ransacking a disused and out-of-bounds sports and social club.

The Four-o-Five Club in Bader Close, Ipswich, is boarded up and being refurbished, and workers are busy decontaminating areas which contain a particularly dangerous form of asbestos.

VANDALS risked asbestos poisoning, after ransacking a disused and out-of-bounds sports and social club.

The Four-o-Five Club in Bader Close, Ipswich, is boarded up and being refurbished, and workers are busy decontaminating areas which contain a particularly dangerous form of asbestos.

Extra fences were put up around the perimeter of the site, after youths were seen around the building in the past.

But between 4.30pm on Monday and 8.30am on Wednesday two to four people got in and smashed up the ceilings and walls.

Police are particularly concerned that people entering the building are putting themselves at extreme risk from the harmful dangers of exposure to asbestos.

The health implications of breathing in asbestos - which may not show themselves for years - have been highlighted by the Evening Star's Silent Disaster campaign since 1997 and are potentially lethal.

Inspector Andy Solomon said today: "The building contains the blue kind of asbestos, which is highly contagious.

"These people need to be aware of that fact. The asbestos is being disposed of in an appropriate manner, but if they enter they put not just themselves at risk, but those people who they may come into contact with.

"Youngsters and other people may think it is fun to go inside, but this is a dangerous building and they must not do so. It is important that they keep well away, as the signs tell them to do."

He added: "There is nothing in there worth taking."

He appealed for anyone with information about the club break-in, to call him on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Weblinks:

www sciencenet.org.uk

www.detr.gov.uk

For years asbestos was nicknamed the magic mineral" because of its suitability for making thousands of products.

Blue and brown asbestos the two most dangerous forms have been banned since 1985. White asbestos was banned in 1999, although it is still permitted for a small number of specialised uses.

Historical records show that asbestos has been used by man for more than 4,000 years and has been used in more than 3,000 products this century.

The risks of a building containing asbestos is higher if it was built or refurbished between 1950 and 1980, if it has a steel framework, and also contains boilers with thermal insulation.

The most common use for asbestos is through spraying or loose packaging. For advice on dealing with asbestos call Ipswich Borough Council on 01473 433019 or for guidance on disposing of asbestos call 01473 433090 before taking any action.


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