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Asbestos in schools: Danger Lurking within Classroom Walls

A recent Freedom of Information report suggests that 86% of schools in England contain asbestos, posing a risk of exposure to the asbestos fibres for many children and staff across the country.

Sadly, there is a higher rate of deaths due to Mesothelioma, the asbestos related cancer, than road accidents in Britain. Of the 2,535 deaths caused by exposure to asbestos a year, 300 are as a result of exposure to asbestos in schools. The high cost of removing asbestos means that roughly nine in ten British school buildings pose a risk of potentially exposing children and staff to the asbestos fibres. The campaign group, Asbestos in Schools, has called for the Government to adopt long-term policies to eradicate asbestos from all schools. Campaign founder, Michael Lees, argued, "We expose a large number of children to asbestos in schools and this is contributing to the terrible death toll.”

Recently in the news was the tragic case of a teacher in England who was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, caused by pinning pupils’ work to classroom walls containing asbestos. The presence of asbestos in schools is alarmingly more common than you think.

Professor Julian Peto, a leading expert on asbestos, said, “You cannot rebuild all the schools in Britain to prevent about 25 deaths a year. These are deaths that will occur predominantly over the age of 70. You have to remember that is the effect of childhood exposure.”

It is a terrifying fact that Pleural Thickening develops from anywhere between 10 to 20 years after exposure to asbestos dust and fibres. For many victims of asbestos poisoning, it may have been many years ago when the contamination took place – a forgotten memory. Doctors are only able to detect the incurable lung disease over a decade after the exposure to asbestos.

Last year a report on Asbestos in UK Schools was published, revealing asbestos hazards in 20 UK schools.
There are time limits for making asbestos compensations claims in court. If you are diagnosed with pleural thickening it is important to seek expert legal advice immediately.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation about Pleural Thickening compensation claims and most claims are dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis. Call our specialist Asbestos Claims Solicitors on freephone 0800 884 0275 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers are a leading asbestos claims law firm with 1,450 staff and offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Derby, Merseyside, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.

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