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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Asbestos in Artex – Now Banned But Once Prolific

Artex, once the preferred way to decorate our walls and ceilings used asbestos as an active component. Best practice is to leave it alone but what of those who had extensive exposure to asbestos in artex?

While the use of artex in our homes has greatly declined as a result of changing trends and interior design aesthetics, artex was once the most common place way to decorate walls and ceilings. Artex has steadily declined in popularity and the use of asbestos in artex stopped in 1984.

Prior to 1984, artex used a 3-5% concentration of Chrysotile white asbestos to create the sought after textured effect. This form of artex is still present in many homes across the United Kingdom and the consensus is that it is not directly a cause for concern. Left alone, the asbestos artex does not release the asbestos fibres that are associated with illnesses such as mesothelioma and the accepted principle is to leave the artex as is and to replaster over the existing artex if needed.

While this approach leaves a largely satisfactory outcome, those that worked extensively with artex in the period leading up to 1984 may have unwittingly become exposed to asbestos fibres. Equally, anyone who was tasked with stripping off artex may also have become exposed to the impact of asbestos. Another key issue is that in past decades, the use of personal protective equipment in the work place was not very common, systematic or widespread.

Some schools of thought and legal cases argue artex in asbestos was not in sufficiently high concentration to pose a health risk to those engaged in the plastering or construction industry. To counter this argument, the level and length of exposure is not directly correlated to the risk of mesothelioma. For those unfortunate enough to have fallen ill with mesothelioma, asbestos exposure may have been repeated, heavy or simply occasional and light.

If you worked extensively with artex pre 1984 or in subsequent years while removing artex you may have become exposed to asbestos related diseases. To find out if you are eligible to make a claim for exposure to asbestos, please call our team of highly skilled asbestos claims agents who will work hard to claim the asbestos compensation to which you are entitled. Call us now on 0800 634 1626.

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