HC Deb 30 April 1986 vol 96 cc410-1W
Mr. Litherland

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to require all public and local authorities to identify, indelibly mark and register all asbestos in all property within their responsibility and to prepare a programme for the removal and safe disposal of asbestos from their housing and buildings; and if he will make a statement.

Sir George Young

The Department of the Environment issued a technical guidance note on asbestos materials in buildings in August 1983. Copies were sent to all local authorities in England and Wales. The guidance is being revised and updated and will be re-issued later this year. It describes general procedures for the identification of asbestos materials. It recommends that undamaged asbestos which is not releasing dust be left in place; the location of asbestos materials be marked on records or plans for future reference; and precautions, which may include labelling, be taken to alert maintenance workers to the presence of asbestos. Asbestos materials which are damaged and releasing dust should be treated or removed, but programmes to remove all asbestos are unwarranted. Existing legislation relating to asbestos in buildings is substantial and the Government see no need to introduce further legislation.