A mother now fears for her own health and the health of her child after asbestos was disturbed during routine work at her home in a public housing development — and then ignored for days by housing officials.
As reported in Chronicle Live, work to replace a gas fireplace led to a plasterer disturbing asbestos in the home of Michelle Lee and her 7-year-old daughter Regina. Lee, who is pregnant, lives in council housing in the Gosforth section of Newcastle in the United Kingdom.
The asbestos was discovered and reported on a Friday. However, Lee told Chronicle Live that no substantial action was taken by housing officials until the following Monday, potentially exposing Lee and her daughter to deadly airborne asbestos.
While senior housing staff did visit the property on the day of the incident, she claims that there was no attempt to seal the area or remove the asbestos dust.
Instead, Lee took matters into her own hands and cleaned up the dust with a vacuum cleaner that was later confiscated due to contamination concerns. I cleaned up the best I could and had the windows open but my daughter has been on the floor playing, said Lee to Chronicle Live.
On Monday, contractors finally came to seal up the fireplace and take an air quality reading. The tests revealed that the amount of contamination in her home is well below any level that might be harmful to her or her family’s health, according to the housing officials. However, Lee questions whether it was possible to obtain a true reading following her cleanup efforts.
Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), which manages Lee’s housing development, has launched a full investigation into the incident.
The implications of the incident are troubling for Lee and her daughter. According to the National Cancer Institute, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure and even small exposures could potentially cause life-threatening health problems in 10-40 years, the latency period of some of the asbestos cancers such as malignant mesothelioma.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and believe you were negligently exposed to asbestos, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call Sokolove Law for a free case evaluation today. A mesothelioma lawyer may be able to help if you have been injured by asbestos.