Asbestos in schools

asbestos in schools

A recent article in the Express about asbestos in schools reports:

“Almost four hundred people will die of lung cancer every year after being exposed to asbestos while at school. It means Britain will have the highest number of ex-pupils and teachers in the world to die after exposure to the deadly substance.”

Figures from show deaths from asbestos-related lung cancer (mesothelioma) in teachers and support staff rose by a third, to 40 each year between 2015 and 2016.

In addition, a study by the American Environmental Protection Agency reports that 363 deaths from asbestos-related cancer among teachers have been recorded since 2001, and the numbers are rising.

The problem with Asbestos is that just one exposure can lead to the development of deadly lung disease, sometimes decades later.

Many cases of mesothelioma will not become apparent until after the teachers and pupils have left the school.

Asbestos was banned from use in 1999 although it still kills approximately 2400 people per year, mostly workers in the construction industry. All employers are required by law to inform their staff about any risk of asbestos exposure and protect them accordingly.

Information from the Health & Safety Executive advises that schools are at low risk for asbestos exposure, as long as it is contained and properly managed. However, a recent BBC investigation found that 200 serious incidents were reported to the HSE within five years. Asbestos doesn’t pose a threat if it is left undisturbed, so a good quality asbestos survey by a local reputable company is imperative in keeping a building safe.

Asbestos removal can be costly but is essential for the health and safety of all people using the building. A good asbestos management plan will also monitor and contain any areas which are an issue making sure that asbestos materials are not disturbed, keeping teachers and pupils safe.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “The safety of staff and pupils in schools is paramount. “We expect all local authorities and academy trusts to have robust plans in place to safely manage asbestos in buildings, and provide detailed guidance for them on doing so.”

Parent’s around the country have expressed their worry and outrage about these recent findings, and many are now questioning their child’s school on how they are keeping their children safe.

WeldLag pride ourselves on our experience and keeping up to date with all the latest asbestos-related legislation

We help devise appropriate asbestos management plans to assist in keeping buildings safe. For further details contact us on 01772 981239 or at