Asbestos poses threat to Naas teenagers

TEENAGERS using a disused house as a drinking den are exposing themselves to a possible cancer risk.

TEENAGERS using a disused house as a drinking den are exposing themselves to a possible cancer risk.

The house is located close to Tandy’s Bridge, which straddles the Grand Canal branch on the outskirts of Naas and near the De Burgh estate about a mile from the town centre.

It is accessed by teenagers from the public walkway on the town side of the canal and sometimes through the Naas GAA club premises.

“Basically it is an old disused house which is being used teenagers especially during the summer months. This is bad enough but the youngsters have built a dam in a stream using asbestos which they have broken off the roof of the house,” a concerned resident told the Leader.

He said people including volunteers from the GAA club (although the land is not owned by the GAA club) have cleared up the area on a couple of occasions but the youths have returned and built a dam, again using asbestos broken up and taken from the house.

“Initially thought it was put there by people trying to catch fish but this is not so and we are worried about the asbestos. Apart from the health risk this cannot be good for the environment and there are a large of number of apartments fairly close to the area.

“There is also an additional risk because fires have been lit and the area is close to woodland which could also of on fire and a hedge has already been set ablaze.

“Nobody seems to taking responsibility for this including the landowner, Waterways Ireland or the town council,” he claimed.

He also pointed out that the site is close to the apartments which overlook the GAA pitch closest to the canal.

Asbestos exposure is linked to serious diseases including lung cancer which happens when asbestos fibres are breathed in and deposited in the air passages and on the cells that form lungs.

Asbestos also causes a rare cancer affecting the abdomen and chest as well as non-malignant diseases.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency asbestos products should be treated with caution and can be inadvertently disturbed during maintenance, repair or refurbishment work on a building.

Drilling, cutting or other disturbance of asbestos materials can release fibres into the air and specialist contractors should be engaged to carry out work on on asbestos products or to remove the material.