It is estimated that more than 75% of school buildings in the UK still contain asbestos, despite the risks of asbestos exposure being widely documented. There is an urgent call for all schools to be fully checked for asbestos and for it to be completely removed from school buildings.
Asbestos was used in the building of schools before 2000. It was used in a variety of areas, including the insulation of pipes and boilers, thermal insulation and fire protection, ceiling tiles and floor tiles, as well as cement roofing and guttering.
Currently, the Government’s policy in relation to schools containing asbestos is to manage the risk, rather than remove it. Given that at least 100 teachers have died from Mesothelioma (a cancer related to asbestos exposure) since 2000, Freeclaim Solicitors believes there is an urgent need to reassess the risks urgently and for the Government to take action.
Philip Coulthurst, a senior solicitor at Freeclaim commented, “The presence of asbestos in our school and university buildings is putting both staff and pupils at great risk of being exposed to dangerous asbestos fibres. The Government must relook at urgent policies to ensure that anyone working in or visiting the sites are fully protected.”
Not everyone who is exposed will develop an asbestos related illness. However, this does not take into account the increased risk of asbestos exposure to children. A study in the US found that for every death of a teacher from an asbestos related illness, nine children will die. Due to the longer life span of children, they are more likely to develop an asbestos related illness compared to an adult who is exposed to asbestos at the same time.
Mesothelioma and asbestos related illnesses take time to develop in the body and can often take many years to show symptoms. The symptoms of Mesothelioma in particular can take 30 – 40 years to develop. Mesothelioma is not a disease that should be looked at as a disease that effected people in the past, as it commonly is. The disproportionate number of Mesothelioma deaths amongst school teachers in not unique to this country.
Freeclaim Solicitors are specialist personal injury solicitors who could help you claim compensation if you, or a loved one, have been diagnosed with an asbestos related illness from exposure in schools.
We understand how difficult it can be after being diagnosed with these illnesses, and our lawyers can help take some of the stress surrounding this away. With expert knowledge of claiming compensation in this area, our solicitors will fully explore your case and investigate how you could have been exposed to asbestos.
If you would like to find out more on how Freeclaim Solicitors could help you after exposure to asbestos call 24 hours a day on 0800 612 7340. Freeclaim Solicitors have over 30 years’ experience and are recommended as a leading personal injury firm by the Legal 500.
Published 2nd June 2014.