Living With Mesothelioma-My Diary- I have written about the Dockyard and about DIY

Sunday was a very cold dull day and had been raining most of the night.

I worked on my writings most of the day as I had a story idea that I got down on paper.

I wrote about house surveys for Asbestos as it is in our homes if built before 2000 and people are drilling into walls and ripping down walls as the renovate their homes. This is the craze and yet no one thinks of where the Asbestos is. If you had a survey you would at least find out and then deal with it as you see fit.

The danger points are well documented.

The question I posed was Can I sell an item that contains asbestos? the answer by HSE No. It is illegal to supply any article containing asbestos, whether for money, or free of charge.—— so technically we cant sell a house if has Asbestos in ??????

It is a thought but it isn’t law as yet but should we be waiting for the law shouldn’t we be taking the law into our own hands.

Asbestos companies are offering a surveys at a very affordable price so I believe if you live in a house built before 2000 you should have a survey carried out for your own protection.

As long as it is untouched and not damaged in anyway it will be safe, and you can make up your own mind to have it removed by the professionals.

You never know when you are drilling a hole while putting a picture up or doing a plumbing job that you could disturb Asbestos.

That scrapping of Artex off the wall or taking lino tiles up from the floor could be putting you and your family in danger.

The Guardian in 2011 wrote a good report of the dangers but still I watch DIY program’s that are not mentioning Asbestos. I notice DIY SOS and Under The Hammer are being good and mention when finding Asbestos that the job stops and the professionals are called in but very rare does 60 minute Make Over.

Years ago no-one mentioned it and they pulled old houses apart and pulled down walls so starting the fashion of renovating old houses. There must be many builders suffering with asbestos disease’s including mesothelioma.

Quoting the Guardian (Sunday May 1st 2011)

The use of asbestos has been common in the industrialised world since the mid-19th century and it was not until 1999 that a total ban was imposed. Lee Carter, principal director of the consultants WSP Environment & Energy, says that it has been widely used in residential property: “Among private homes, more than 50% are likely to include some asbestos-containing materials.”

While this may sound alarming, asbestos is likely to be dangerous only if it is released into the air and you breathe it in. Then you could be at long-term risk of developing lung cancer, asbestosis or mesothelioma (a cancer that forms in the lining of the chest or abdomen). Experts say that there should be little or no risk if the asbestos is enclosed and left undisturbed but it must be regularly checked for signs of deterioration.

But accidents happen and the previously dormant devil within could be released when “improvement” work is being carried out, for example, or when a burst pipe causes damage to ceilings.

Association of British Insurers points out that policies will cover removal of asbestos only as part of a householder’s damage claim, and not simply because asbestos happens to have been identified.

In older homes, asbestos is often present in ceilings decorated using Artex textured coating. This is because, until the mid-1980s, Artex was made with white asbestos to strengthen it. However, Joe Oakins, a surveyor at Vintec Environmental Management, says: “We find asbestos products used in the strangest places and sometimes apparently for no reason. Often builders used whatever they had lying around, so you often find off-cuts of asbestos boards used as packing and filler.”

Peter Coling, technical director at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward Chartered Surveyors, estimates that 30% of asbestos is found in ceiling coatings, 15% in boiler flue pipes and ducts, and 15% in floor tiles. A further 15% is found in areas such as cold water storage tanks, insulation materials, eaves, gutters and rainwater pipes, while 10% is in cement panel ceilings, 10% in outbuildings and 5% in fire protection materials, for example on the underside of integral garage roofs and in cupboards enclosing boilers.

Phil Wright, chief engineer at the inspection and insurance service Allianz Engineering, says: “It is difficult to establish how much asbestos is present in a home without employing a specialist to undertake a full inspection.” Samples need to be taken for analysis at a laboratory approved by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service.

Debbie Hales, director of Asbestos First, one of 450 licensed removal firms in the UK, says: “With textured coatings you have to take [samples] from different locations. It can be free of asbestos in one part and not in the next because of the way it was manufactured.”

Hales says that the cost of a sampling visit should be about £150 plus VAT. If any additional samples are required during the visit, expect to pay about £20 plus VAT per sample. To remove an area of textured coating, such as Artex, containing asbestos costs about £1,200 plus VAT for up to 20sq m, including disposal and air-quality tests. (please remember these prices were 2011) but I still feel this is a small price to pay to prevent Mesothelioma, which is at present incurable and only palliative care and you are told 3months to 1 year survival.

So really think about it and dont wait for us to win changes in the law with new legislations,  lead by example and take the law into your own hands and protect your families.

Ray worked in the Dockyard and then at Higham so for those not on Linkedin or Face Book here is my writings.

Chatham Dockyard is the working place of my GGreat Grandfather Edward came with his wife from South Hilton Durham to Chatham and lived in Luton Chatham. He had a my Grandmother and she married Thomas and lived a few doors away where my Father, his brother Jackson and three sisters were born. My Grandfather died at 42 when he dropped dead over my Grandmother as she was holding her newborn, my Uncle Jackson.

The men all worked in the Dockyard walking in or going by cycle.

Now the dockyard has closed it has become a tourist attraction, a happy place and yet Mesothelioma is the deadly disease this dockyard has left the Medway towns suffering with.

Asbestos was a wonder material and was used as an insulating material used in the shipbuilding industry from the end of the 19th century until the the dockyard closed 1984/85 and everything was moved to Portsmouth.

Engine rooms,generating rooms, pipework and boilers,where ever the asbestos was used to lag was a danger to the workers. . Even after asbestos was stopped being used  Chatham dockyard workers were still exposed to high levels of asbestos fibres from stripping out old asbestos lagging on refits.

Because asbestos was commonplace on ships/submarines, many Chatham dockyard employees could have been exposed to asbestos whilst building or maintaining ships and submarines. This includes shipwrights, joiners, engine fitters, electrical fitters, caulkers, labourers, rope makers, supervisors, cleaners and asbestos lagers.

Dangers from exposure to high levels of asbestos (especially blue and brown) and its association with asbestosis and lung cancer had been established by the second world war. However it was not until the mid 1960s that the real dangers of asbestos became well known. In 1965 the Sunday Times published an article warning of the link between exposure to low levels of the more common place white asbestos and the fatal disease mesothelioma. This eventually caused responsible employers at Chatham dockyards and elsewhere to take proper precautions to protect its workers from asbestos. Sadly for too many workers there was too long a delay between this knowledge and action to prevent asbestos exposure. Hundreds of them have found that the supposedly harmless white asbestos fibres they inhaled at Chatham dockyards have led to serious and often fatal diseases, such as asbestosis, diffuse pleural thickening, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Chatham dockyard has gained the nasty title of being the top employer responsible for the deaths from asbestos, lung cancer and asbestosis.

My Father died wrongly diagnosed as he died in 1989 having lived through the pain of emphysema with a frozen shoulder having had a small stroke. The symptoms I have seen in my dad are the same as I have had through my illness. Swollen legs, lymphedema, hard to breath at times. So sad as it meant he didnt have the proper treatment although there was even less than today.

The Medway area, which includes Chatham dockyards, is in the UK’s top four for asbestos related deaths. A total of 104 people died from mesothelioma in Medway between 2006 and 2010.

When you sit down with Ray he describes the asbestos as being piled up everywhere on the dock side and on the boats. Men were sawing the material, cutting it, even throwing and kicking it about as they worked, and the dust in the air when it was swept up.

Unlike Plymouth Dockyard they didn’t have a laundry service so Ray came home in his work clothes and i shook the dust and put them into the washing machine.

Ray has lost all the pals from his apprenticeship the 1953 entry.

Health and safety” is too often referred to in derogatory terms, but a more conscientious attitude to the health and safety risks of asbestos in the 1950,s, 60s and 70s would have prevented such diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. It is because of such careless attitudes that employers like the Ministry of Defence at Chatham dockyards are often liable to compensate for diseases caused by asbestos. Unfortunately of course no amount of compensation can make up for a fatal illness.  To true !!!!!!!!!!!

We spoke on BBC Politics and low and behold they used some film from The dockyard of the Dockyard maties going home on their bikes. I search the faces for my Dad but I dont think he was there as my Dad always worked overtime so he wouldnt be going home with the Masses bless him.

Rays Blog

Just a bit more of Mavis handy work. Its only a small garden but she puts a lot of hard work into it. Even though she comes in totally shattered. Its warmish day . But our park walk with louis was windy.. When we got back mave pointed out that our neighbors bushes were sprouting big long spiky tendrils into our garden.


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