The University of Limerick (UL) campus centre is to undergo works to remove harmful asbestos from the site.
The building is partially used by UL students and staff, and also the local council and community groups. However, the section containing asbestos has not been in use recently. The building was purchased in 2019 and asbestos was removed in 2019, shortly after the building was acquired.
Asbestos was extensively used as a building material from the 1950s as it was ideal for fireproofing and insulation. It was mainly used in the 1960s through the 1980s. It was phased out with laws passed in 1994 and 1998, but a complete ban wasn’t enacted until 2004. Asbestos is fairly safe when it is intact however, when it gets broken up, dangerous particles are released into the air. The fibres are inhaled and trapped in the lungs and this can lead to lung cancer or other lung disorders.
It is reported that UL will hire contractors to remove asbestos insulating board, and red putty from old air ducting. Asbestos was also uncovered in areas around pipework and fixtures for generators, boilers and toilets.
About the author: Nicholas Moore is a solicitor on the Medical Negligence Team.