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'Asbestos-riddled Wolverhampton Civic Hall organ posed no risk to public health'

By Jack Averty | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Wolverhampton Council has insisted there was never a public health risk with the now-discarded Civic Hall organ.

Some of the organ's 6,421 pipes which have been scrapped

The "priceless" organ was dumped at landfill earlier this month after experts presumed it was severely contaminated with asbestos, which can lead to lung cancer and other debilitating illnesses.

The council insist any asbestos damage caused to the organ would have occurred before work on the Civic began in 2016, but this has led to panic among organ enthusiasts who helped to seal the organ off at the back end of 2015 and may have come into contact with asbestos.

A spokesman for Cannock Chase Organ Club said: "The council insist any asbestos damage caused to the organ occurred before work on the Civic Hall began in 2016.

"If this is the case, members of the club were allowed to work on the organ, and seal it up before the works on the Civic commenced. Have we therefore been knowingly exposed to asbestos in the organ by the council?"

Wolverhampton Council has said there was never a public health risk with the organ, but has advised people to speak to their GP if they have concerns.

Spokesman Oliver Bhurrut said: "Testing confirmed the potential health risk is low for anyone who worked in and around the organ – and regular testing inside the Grade II-listed Civic Halls continues to ensure the safety of contractors working on the project.

“Any asbestos identified in the building has always been contained and removed in a controlled and safe environment.

“Employees who worked in that space regularly in the past have been kept fully informed and risk assessments carried out.

“Ex-employees and anyone else who may have worked in and around the organ, like the Cannock Chase Organ Club members when they came into contact with the pipes on December 15, 2015, should seek advice from their GP if they have any concerns at all.

“As we have stated in the past, asbestos specialists have confirmed there is no risk, nor has there ever been a risk, to public health.”

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton

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