§ Mr. Frank Field
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he has any plans for removing asbestos from Northern Ireland Housing Executive property where it is discovered.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
This is a matter for the chairman of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, who has advised me that, when improvement work is to be carried out to Executive dwellings, consideration is given as appropriate to the removal of any materials containing asbestos or their encapsulation (protection with a sheet of asbestos-free board or treatment with a suitable sealer). In addition to this general policy, asbestos in solid fuel room heaters is removed when planned maintenance is carried out and a programme for the replacement of all electric warm-air units containing asbestos is being drawn up.