The three-bedroom property was built as part of a London local authority home-building scheme.
The surveyor noted in the HomeBuyer Report that the toxic sheeting was a commonly used building material in South London’s post-war housing schemes – despite the fact that the world’s first diagnosis of asbestosis, a respiratory disease caused by exposure to airborne fibres, was made in the UK in 1924.
Having had experience with houses in the same row, the surveyor predicted that the dangerous material was probably hidden when the soffits beneath the roof were covered with plastic capping during a renovation.
In his London Home Buyers Survey report, the inspector predicted the problem was present throughout the building. Areas such as the loft space, ceiling and beneath the stairs were difficult to inspect and should therefore be treated with caution.
Health problems commonly associated with asbestos:
- Lung cancer
- Mesothelioma – a cancer that effects the protective lining of the internal organs
The surveyor noted that if the sheets were left undisturbed, they did not present any immediate danger to the inhabitants. But he urged the London homebuyer that:
“It will be important that your letting agreement does not allow the tenant to carry out work to ceilings and walls or external parts of the building. ”
The Home Buyers Survey went on to advise that:
“In general it would be prudent to have suitable management policies in place when appointing contractors to work in the house, to check for asbestos content in key risk areas, and to ensure that the management regime of the house does not allow any alterations to walls or ceilings or to external parts, including sanding or drilling. ”
This Home Buyers Survey in London’s sage advice was designed to protect workers and tenants from suffering the adverse effects of exposure to this hazardous substance.