The London Underground is far more than just a rail network – it is one of the capital's most famous icons. If you are one of the three million people who use this system every day, you probably don't think twice about the potential dangers. However, asbestos is reportedly present throughout the tunnels – and this material could be harming passengers and employees alike. However, if you, or a loved one, were adversely affected, you could be entitled to receive a substantial settlement through Seth Lovis & Co.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos is a building material which was used extensively before a complete ban came into effect in 1999. This material was outlawed because – despite being relatively harmless in its solid form – it can prove extremely hazardous when disturbed or damaged.
If this occurs, those who inhale the resulting dust could eventually develop health conditions such as mesothelioma. However, these diseases will not become apparent immediately after initial exposure. Instead, any adverse effects could become apparent up to 60 years later.
Why would asbestos be in the London Underground?
If a property was built or refurbished before the year 2000, the NHS states that it could contain asbestos. Therefore, considering parts of the London Underground were constructed before that date, this material is most likely present throughout the tunnels.
For example, the first part of this transportation system opened in 1863, but eventually grew to include other networks, such as the Northern Line, the Victoria Line, and the Jubilee Line – all of which opened between 1924 and 1979.
Although its use declined about halfway through the 1980s, construction firms used asbestos as an insulator during most of the 20th Century – often because it was relatively cheap, durable, and displayed excellent fire-resistant properties.
Due to its popularity, it is almost unthinkable that asbestos would not be in the London Underground – a statement supported by one of its workers.
Worker believes asbestos is prevalent throughout the London Underground
In 2012, a London Underground worker spoke to journalists from the International Business Times UK, claiming that asbestos was "all over the place" in the network and especially prevalent throughout the eastern sections of the Central Line.
Although Transport for London (TfL) stated that the organisation had implemented "strict controls" to ensure that passengers and staff members were not in danger of suffering asbestos exposure, the employee believed TfL was "reluctant" to deal with the problem.
He said, "no matter what, they won't remove it. It costs too much money and takes too long. They are going to leave it there....there are still whole departments working down there without adequate procedures to deal with it".
He also claimed that, "it is more important to get the work done than it is to get it done in a manner that is safe for the workforce and the public".
If this man's claims are accurate, then numerous London Underground workers could have been exposed to asbestos fibres – and might still be in danger.
Can I claim compensation for asbestos exposure on the London Underground?
If you believe you've developed an asbestos-related disease after being exposed to this material on the London Underground, you are not alone. There have been documented cases of workers suffering conditions such as mesothelioma, while unions have also expressed concerns about asbestos in the tunnels.
At Seth Lovis & Co, our compensation solicitors strive to help sufferers receive damages for their illnesses, often attempting to secure funds to recover lost earnings as well as therapy costs.
To find out if you could benefit from their services, please call our department today on 0370 218 4025 or, alternatively, complete an online enquiry form.