The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been made aware that two UK laboratory supply companies have supplied schools and potentially other users with gauze mats which contain asbestos. The metal gauze mats are designed for use over Bunsen burners. HSE has served enforcement notices on both companies.
A HSE spokesperson said: “Although the risk of exposure is low, we took action as soon as we were informed. HSE Inspectors ensured supply of the asbestos-containing gauze mats stopped immediately. We got the message out as soon as possible and alerted schools, colleges and others to the issue, providing precautionary advice on how to check if they are affected and if so what to do next.
“Our investigation into the circumstances that led to these particular gauze mats coming into circulation is on-going. As part of this, HSE inspectors have served enforcement notices on both companies to ensure that all affected mats are disposed of safely.”