LETTER: Help charity find asbestos hot spots

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Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team (DAST) is a Chesterfield-based charity which aims to support all those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease. DAST also raises awareness of the continuing dangers of asbestos.

The charity has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to collect information about how and where asbestos was used during the mid-20th century.

This is enabling its to distribute information about where asbestos might still be found. The project is particularly aimed at those who work with vintage artefacts, vintage collectors and property renovators. Asbestos can still be found in items such as old kitchen floor tiles, vintage car brakes, WW2 gas masks and pre-1970s talcum powder tins. This is just a small example.

A website is available which lists many more and also contains photographs. This can be visited at www.asbestosheritage.co.uk. Leaflets and a small display are also available for use by museums and heritage sites.

Only minimal exposure to loose asbestos fibres can result in mesothelioma – an aggressive cancer with no known cure. I would urge any readers who have an interest in collecting or renovating old objects to visit our website, and to make themselves more aware of the dangers that might be lurking in our heritage.

Sarah Walters

Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team, Chesterfield