Asbestos found in barbecuesHomebase withdraws hundreds following discovery

03 November 2006

Homebase has withdrawn hundreds of barbecues after they were found to contain asbestos.

The 2,500 Sienna Kettle barbecues had the potentially deadly mineral in washers that lay between the lid and the handles. Customers would have to handle the washer when assembling the barbecue.

Homebase it said it didn't know how many were sold before it discovered the problem, but it says the ‘vast majority’ were removed before sale.

It’s illegal for consumer products in the UK to contain asbestos. Inhaling asbestos fibres or dust at high concentrations over a period of time can cause cancer, although the disease may not appear until at least 20 years after exposure.

Minimal risk

An independent safety consultant alerted Homebase to the problem, and it quickly withdrew the products, which had been imported from China.

The company says it stopped short of a recall as the risk to health was ‘minimal’.

However, Robin Howie, a health and safety expert contacted by Which?, said: ‘There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos. It simply shouldn't be in these products.’

If you bought one of the affected barbecues, ring Homebase customer services on 0845 077 8888 and you will be able to take it back for a refund.