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Ban sounds death knell for asbestos 'products'

Materials

THE WHITE asbestos ban which comes into force later this month could prove fatal to the second-hand asbestos cement market.

There is still a lucrative market in used asbestos cement products such as tiles, panels and boards, according to Asbestos expert Laurie Allan. But she explained: 'Second-hand products covered with asbestos will also be forbidden when the ban kicks in on November 24.'

The gloomy future for such products was confirmed by Carol Amery, director of the asbestos control division of the Thermal Insulation Contractors Association. She said: 'Manufacturers have been gearing up for the ban for the last two years and have turned to substitute materials.'

One such firm is Eternit Slates: 'We stopped using asbestos in our manufacturing process early last year and exhausted all our stocks well before the end of 1998,' said product manager, Ged Ferris.

Now Eternit has reformulated all its man-made slates, profiled sheeting and relevant cladding products, using man-made fibres and cellulose instead.

Mr Ferris added: 'This ban will ensure that all of the building industry comes into line and puts the UK on a par with most ofEurope.'