Asbestos in schools: Have thousands died?

Asbestos campaigners have called for a full inquiry into the presence of the deadly material in schools after MPs heard that thousands of people could have died from exposure over the decades. It comes as the HSE maintains that managing, not removing, asb

Millions of school staff and pupils could have become exposed to asbestos dust in schools over decades leading to thousands of deaths, MPs heard last week.

The all-party House of Commons Education Select Committee was told that a lack of awareness and training about the dangers of the substance had led to a failure by schools to manage their asbestos properly.

A Medical Research Council document, presented to the committee, had come to the conclusion that “it is not unreasonable to assume that the entire school population has been exposed to asbestos in school buildings”.

MPs heard that there was particular concern about academies and free schools, where governors rather than local authorities now had responsibility and liability for managing asbestos. However, governing bodies were not trained in asbestos awareness.

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