Asbestos in Schools

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Uncategorised on Thursday, August 14th, 2014

The number of deaths for school teachers (secondary, primary and nursery, and special needs) where the underlying cause was mesothelioma, in England for 2011 stood at 16.

A question posed by Lord Wigley to Her Majesty’s Government has revealed how many former school teachers in England have died of mesothelioma during the past 10 years.

The number of deaths for school teachers (secondary, primary and nursery, and special needs) where the underlying cause was mesothelioma, in England for 2011 stood at 16.

The Department of Education’s best estimate is that over 75% of schools contain asbestos but that percentage is likely to be higher as, for example, about 90% of schools in Wales, Greater Manchester, Kent and the North East contain asbestos.

The HSE summarised the extent of the use of asbestos in schools:

“Of the approximate 20,400 primary schools and 3,400 secondary schools in the UK, some 13,000 were built between 1945 and 1974, when the use of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMS) in building was at its peak. Many other school premises would have been refurbished during or since that period, providing the potential for the introduction of ACMs e.g. lagging, ceiling panels, partition walls, sprayed coatings. This suggests that a high proportion of our present schools contain asbestos and represent the potential to release deadly fibres”.

In 2007/2008 there were 9.7 million full-time and part time pupils in 33,700 schools in the United Kingdom.
A Medical Research Council (MRC) report examined the extent, type and location of asbestos in schools and concluded: “It is not unreasonable to assume, therefore, that the entire school population has been exposed to asbestos in school buildings.”

Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos and is invariably fatal. A case control study carried out by the HSE in 2009 highlighted that:

“The British mesothelioma death–rate is now the highest in the world.”

Further information can be found at the HSE website or via “Asbestos in Schools” a website created to inform parents, teachers and support staff about asbestos in schools. It gives guidance on how to improve the management of asbestos in schools. It aims to encourage openness in the UK Government’s policy towards asbestos in schools.

If you have suffered Mesothelioma, call Attwaters Jameson Hill on 01279 638888 for advice and assistance or clickhere for further details.

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