Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (391)

Michael McCarthy

Question:

391. Deputy Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if there is any funding or grant aid available for the removal of hazardous asbestos; and if he will consider making such funding available in view of the known health risks associated with this material. [15376/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

There is no funding available from my Department or local authorities for the removal of asbestos in buildings.

The prevention of exposure to the harmful effects of asbestos is the focus of occupational safety and health legislation concerning asbestos in the workplace. Specific worker protection Regulations regarding the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos fibres while at work have been in place since 1989. The current Regulations are the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Exposure to Asbestos) Regulations 2006, which are enforced by the Health and Safety Authority, which comes under the remit of the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Insofar as the management of asbestos as a waste is concerned, the Waste Management Acts 1996-2013 prohibit any person from holding, transporting, recovering or disposing of waste in a manner which causes or is likely to cause environmental pollution, defined in section 5 of the 1996 Act to include action which would to a significant extent endanger human health.

It is recommended that expert advice should be sought in dealing with asbestos materials and if removal is necessary it should only be done by a competent contractor with the required training.