Over 20 council buildings with asbestos in use

​Over 20 Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) properties in use have been identified as containing asbestos.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council's Monaghan Row headquarters.Newry, Mourne and Down District Council's Monaghan Row headquarters.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council's Monaghan Row headquarters.

​The heat resistant product, which was used up to the 1980s for building purposes such as insulation and fireproofing, is now known as a potential cause of lung disease.

The council’s environment committee (Nov 22) discussed its “asbestos management” policy behind closed doors, with any health concerns kept out of the public eye.

However, following a query by the Local Democracy Service, a NMDDC spokesperson said: “There are 22 properties, which have been identified as containing Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACMs), which are managed on site.

“One property has been cleared of asbestos as part of a demolition task.

“Currently, 21 buildings containing ACMs are in use and are managed under the council’s asbestos policy.

“Certain asbestos on site cannot easily be removed.”

A list of council buildings identified with asbestos was not provided by NMDDC.

The spokesperson added: “The council’s registered asbestos consultant has identified that the ACMs in the remaining buildings are not a health and safety risk.

“As this is a small amount and managed by the maintenance department under the council’s asbestos policy, there are no plans to remove this material.

“The new business case for the appointment of a contractor to undertake asbestos control measures was approved at the Sustainability & Environment meeting on Wednesday 22 November.”

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