Do you know if your child’s school has asbestos in it? And is it a danger to your children? One of the UK’s teaching unions has raise concerns about the potential that hundreds of school buildings may still contain asbestos. So, what is being done by the government to protect the school’s teachers and pupils?
By now, the dangers of asbestos are very well documented. Asbestos was banned as a building material in 1999, but it was regularly used in the construction of buildings until this date, including in schools between the 1950s and 1980s.
It has been reported that over 200 teachers have died across the UK since 2001 from mesothelioma, a form of cancer that is caused by the disturbance of asbestos (data from the National Education Union).
Mesothelioma is caused by someone being exposed to asbestos fibres and it typically takes the disease more than 20 years to develop and show symptoms.
Government research has found that children who are exposed to asbestos in schools are five times more likely to contract the disease than adults that are 30 years old.
However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said that if asbestos is properly managed in can cause a “very low risk” to children and teachers in schools.
The BBC has conducted research that has found that over half of the schools in the North West are known to contain asbestos in their structure, but local authorities in the area don’t know if 44% of schools contain the material or not.
This unknown knowledge is because about 61% of schools are outside LEA control, including many academies and free schools.
The teacher’s union surveyed teachers in March 2017 and found that around 46% of teachers had been told that the school they work in does contain asbestos but about half of those said they had not been told where it was located in the schools.
Asbestos-related diseases are set to have a massive impact over the next 30 years. We put together this infographic with some key statistics for you to consider.
We have been reading a sad story today about a former teacher, the Oldham Chronicle.
Former teacher, Bernard Dawson, died after being diagnosed with deadly Mesothelioma.
His family believe he inhaled the toxic dust in secondary schools in Greater Manchester and Lancashire.
Mr. Dawson taught maths and science for over 50 years teaching and died last August, leaving a dear wife, 5 children and several grandchildren. Prior to starting to teach in 1957, he was a former marine commando.
All schools have an asbestos report and whilst awareness is now higher than ever, people can still be exposed to asbestos. Make sure your school, or business has proper asbestos surveys and management reports.
We cannot stress how SERIOUSLY asbestos must be taken. More and more news is coming to light on a daily basis of people, business owners, housing developers, construction workers and tradesmen NOT being fully aware or trained on the dangers of asbestos and how to protect themselves and those around them.
We urge you to read the latest asbestos news from the HSE.
If you need asbestos surveys including 24hour asbestos sampling and you are based in West Yorkshire/Lancashire/Northern England, get in touch. We can help answer any questions and definitely direct you as regards getting the support, knowledge and management that you need.
Click to read about Asbestos and your Duty of Care to Manage it. (including links to the relevant Health and Safety Executive pages).
Leeds Carpenter, Terry Ellis, very sadly died last June of Mesothelioma; a cancer of the lining of the lungs, aged 72. He has been exposed to asbestos at two Leeds companies where had worked in the 1960’s; George Whimpey and John Atkinson and Sons Ltd.
Mesothelioma is a very aggressive form of cancer and it is incurable.
Ex-employees of the company, and in particular those who may have worked with Terry are being urged to come forward and talk to law firms, to identify whether they too were exposed and what measures may have ben in place to protect them, and to identify fellow employees who may have also been exposed.
These days all parties are more aware of the dangers of the silent killer, asbestos. Even though it is reported that 75% of schools in England and Wales contain the substance. Unbelievable really, that our children are being exposed. Let’s hope that the action groups and government can stamp this out.
The first step of managing asbestos is to have an asbestos survey carried out. We offer all types of asbestos surveys and cover the UK. Most of our work is in Yorkshire and Lancashire, in particular Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Halifax, and Wakefield.