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TRADES UNION CONGRESS HIGHLIGHTS SCHOOL ASBESTOS RISK

TUC pamphlet warns of “very real” asbestos danger from schools in disrepair

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has published a brief pamphlet to raise awareness “about the very real dangers of asbestos in schools” The pamphlet is entitled Asbestos in Schools: What teachers, support staff, governors and heads need to know about the hidden killer within our schools and is free to download.

HSE also pubish information on managing asbestos in schools.

The TUC highlight the almost 2,500 new cases of mesothelioma in the UK each year. This number is expected to rise by 100-120 a year until at least 2015. An estimated 250-300 of these new cases each year will be in the Northern region adding:

For decades asbestos products were used extensively throughout industry and as building materials. It is predicted that the number of people who die from mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, will continue to increase for the next 5 to 10 years.

All schools built before 2000 are also highly likely to contain asbestos containing materials (ACM); it was used extensively in construction materials, insulation and fire prevention; over 75% of schools contain asbestos. As these building age and fall into disrepair the risk of asbestos exposure increases dramatically.

The number of teachers who have dies from mesothelioma has increased by over 300% in the last twenty years. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

Children exposed to asbestos are five times more likely to develop mesothelioma than adult teachers in the same environment. A child of five is five times more likely to develop mesothelioma by the age of 80 than a teacher aged 30.”

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