Limerick residents to leave homes as asbestos problem is tackled

A number of residents will be forced to leave their homes over the next four weeks as the the council moves to tackle an asbestos problem in a Limerick city housing estate.

According to a notice issued to 16 homes in College Avenue, Moyross, Limerick City and County Council said that removal of asbestos will commence next Monday, the Limerick Leader has reported.

The presence of asbestos in the northside estate has alarmed residents since it was first raised by Fianna Fáil councillor James Collins in July.

Speaking  after the public notice was issued this Wednesday, Cllr Collins said:

“They [the council] denied there was asbestos present until I called them out. Now they have admitted asbestos is in residents’ homes, and that it is a health risk. That must be removed in a controlled way. Next, they need to disclose how long they knew it was there? Why didn’t they act sooner?”

A number of weeks ago, the council moved to allay residents’ fears after an independent expert analyst found that “there are no current indications of any associated health risk”.

Due to the nature of the works, a council spokesperson said, “residents will have to leave their house for the day”.

It is understood that residents will not have to seek alternative accommodation. Small finishing works will be carried out the following day.

As part of the works, an electrician and plumber will have to stop electricity and heating passing through the cupboard from the hot press, the notice states.

“Asbestos contractors will then construct and test the air lock unit in the hallway and form the seal at first floor level before the removal of the asbestos material begins. Air test monitoring will continue throughout the day which the works are ongoing by certified specialist.

An assessment of the contents will be made. Any items which can be wiped clean will be cleaned and any items which would trap or hold a fibrous material will be bagged for disposal.”

A full air test within the sealed enclosed area will be carried out once the asbestos material is removed and an air quality certificate will be issued once the works have been completed.

When the air tests return clear, the services will be reconnected and the residents can return to the house.”