Asbestos found on hospital building site to be removed and treated as hazardous waste

Asbestos found on the site of a proposed hospital will have to be removed as hazardous waste.

The recommendation has been passed on to contractors due to start on the St Luke’s project in Market Harborough.

The situation was revealed in a reply to a Freedom of Information inquiry to NHS Property Services by the Leicester Mercury.

The department, which is leading the £7.8million community hospital project, has revealed that traces of brown and white asbestos had been found on the site on Leicester Road.

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Asbestos was discovered in eight out of 15 trial pits dug in July last year. Seven of the asbestos finds have been classed as not being hazardous waste by experts. The traces are so small they can safely taken to landfill.

However NHS Property Services corporate affairs manager Audrey Cosens said in her reply that asbestos found in one of the pits should be treated differently. She said:

“Disposal of the white fibrous lagging material deriving from the relict service duct as hazardous waste has been recommended, in line with best practice.”

However NHS Property Services could not say how much asbestos remains on the site which contains demolition rubble from previous health service buildings.

The tests and subsequent laboratory assessments were carried out on behalf contractors Morgan Sindall Plc.

The health service has said the asbestos would not impact on the revised building schedule. Work is due to start on November 30 and be completed by the end of January 2017.

Health campaigner Phil Knowles said:

“The disclosures by NHS Property Services to the Leicester Mercury have warranted that fact that questions about asbestos were asked.

Asbestos was found in more than half of the test pits and the mineral in one pit is to be treated as hazardous.

I hope that if further asbestos is found during construction that it will not affected the build programme.”

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