A UK watchdog has ordered the temporary closure of a council building after potentially deadly asbestos was found there. The council building is located in Walthamstow in the UK , and was the workstation for a team of council workers as well as a storage facility for council related paperwork. Recent refurbishment at the building has now given rise to fears that there may be asbestos present.

Asbestos is a substance that can cause range of health related problems, and this includes scarring of the lungs, respiratory problems, and even a form of cancer known as mesothelioma, for which there is no cure. The facility will now have to be closed until it has been made safe – this is in accordance with directions from the Health and Safety Executive.

One health and safety union official stated: “The building has a corrugated roof and I know that many roofs contain white asbestos. But there is also amosite, I don’t know how that has got there but it is worrying because people need access to those files.”

She said that the council’s corporate health and safety team could be cut as part of an efficiency review, and this could result in further orders and prosecutions from the Health and Safety Executive. She stated: “People have left and not been replaced, the team used to have three advisors, a technician, an administrator and a manager but it now has just three people. And now we are getting HSE orders. “

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