Pitcairn House resident left defenseless after asbestos was found in her ceiling – Hackney Citizen


The ceiling where asbestos was found was replastered three times in three years. Photo: Maya Sall

A woman who lives on a troubled council estate has expressed her frustration at the way Hackney Council handled the removal of asbestos from her ceiling.

The Pitcairn House resident, who did not want to be named, told the Citizens that she was in “disbelief” when workers in full protective gear came to her home to treat the asbestos but were offered nothing to her or her family.

The possibility of asbestos came up when a plasterer came to repair her living room ceiling, which had been damaged by a leak.

Leaks were one of the many topics discussed when town hall chief executive Dawn Carter-McDonald was taken on a tour of Pitcairn House by residents this week.

“The plasterer didn't say anything to me about asbestos, he just refused to do the work and left,” the woman said.

“I had to call the city council to even find out they were going to test for asbestos.”

She told that Citizens She asked that the room in question be sealed off during the checks, but this never happened despite the council's consent.

The affected area was covered three days before the asbestos treatment was carried out and the resident said she was not offered alternative accommodation during the procedure.

“I work in facilities and am familiar with the correct approach to asbestos and would like to know whether the council has a policy on the possible discovery of asbestos and whether this was followed in this case.”

The Citizens submitted this question to the Council, which, however, refused to answer.

Instead, a spokesman said: “The council takes its responsibilities in relation to asbestos extremely seriously.”

“Due to extensive use, there are still many buildings that contain asbestos.

“Asbestos only poses a risk when it is disturbed or damaged.

“We inform residents where we know there is asbestos and what we are doing to address it.”

The resident said this was the third time in three years that her ceiling had been repaired due to water damage, “which makes me think the asbestos has been disturbed for a long time.”

“I caught my granddaughter playing tea party with the leaking water – now I know it was asbestos water,” she continued.

The Citizens asked Hackney Council whether plasterers who had previously worked on the ceiling would be informed about their possible exposure to asbestos, but declined to comment.