Search

Mother threatens legal action against Islington Council over asbestos concerns

PUBLISHED: 16:01 17 February 2013

Patricia Moriarty

Patricia Moriarty

TONY GAY at tonephote@aol.com

A mother is threatening to sue council bosses for negligence – alleging that workmen exposed herself and her son to asbestos-riddled dust.

Patricia Moriarty is worried that her son’s cancer – which he successfully fought off 12 years ago – could be more likely to return as a result of the alleged exposure.

Miss Moriarty, 47, a nursery nurse at The Whittington Hospital in Archway, allowed workmen into her council house back in 2009 so they could re-wire the three-bedroom property and upgrade the kitchen and boiler.

Miss Moriarty says it was only later that she discovered that the artex ceilings of the 1980s-built house, which is on the Hargrave Park Estate off Junction Road, Archway, contained small amounts of asbestos.

She is now worried that the dust generated during the works could have been contaminated by the potentially toxic substance, which can cause conditions such as mesothelioma.

And she alleges that the builders undertook no special protective measures – such as sealing off rooms or wearing protective suits – while they were working.

Miss Moriarty, whose son, now 24, underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy for Ewing’s Sarcoma at the age of eight, said: “A surveyor came to do samples of all the ceilings and his report came back saying that there was asbestos, but that it was considered a lower-level risk.

“Because the bathroom ceiling is flaking, I am getting them to replace it. But I can’t do anything about the places they already drilled into. My son is so predisposed to cancer. Am I going to have to live in fear for the next 20 years? I am considering suing Islington Council.”

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), asbestos exposure is responsible for around 4,500 deaths a year because when the fibres are inhaled they can cause serious lung diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer as well as non-fatal conditions such as asbestosis.

The HSE states that when drilling into materials containing asbestos, protective overalls should be worn, rooms should be closed off, surfaces should be protected with polythene and the drilling should be done without creating dust.

An Islington Council spokesman insisted that all contractors were instructed to use the correct procedures in dealing with asbestos. He said they would have been told to anticipate the possibility of asbestos when working in properties of this age and type, even though Miss Moriarty’s specific property had not been surveyed for asbestos before the work started.

He added: “Last October’s survey confirmed a small hairline crack in the bathroom ceiling so we’d like to get in to make a repair. While not standard procedure, to give Miss Moriarty peace of mind, we will also run an air test.”

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 09:00

Think you’re an expert on Islington’s boozers? Well, pub fanatic Johnny Homer knows more. He’s written a book about the history of our most interesting watering holes.

Fri, 18:54

An army of 51 headteachers from schools across Islington have slammed funding cuts to education on an afternoon in which families came in their droves to the borough’s parks for the nationwide ‘big assembly’.

Fri, 16:56

It was the most anticipated Caledonian Road shop opening in a generation.

Fri, 12:49

A London Metropolitan University student has been jailed for 15 years for planting a home-made bomb on a busy Tube train.

Fri, 07:48

A Catholic priest who repeatedly raped and assaulted boys is facing jail.

Fri, 07:00

Scars of the past have yet to heal for neighbours of a controversial former Holloway Road nightclub. After seeing off the People’s Club for good last year, they are now protesting after Islington Council received a new application for a lesbian social club in the same premises.

Thu, 16:10

The results are in after Islington Greens and Tufnell Park Parents unleashed “citizen science” to measure air pollution levels across the borough.

Thu, 15:58

The courtyard at Islington Police Station currently doubles as a showroom for stolen mopeds.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now