The United Kingdom recently sent out a survey to its schools questioning them about asbestos among other things. The reports they got back are not good. Many people, on seeing these reports, are pushing to have asbestos in schools seriously considered and are pushing for removal.
Asbestos in schools is a big problem. More 1800 schools in the United Kingdom have asbestos. That is according to the new figures from the Joint Union Asbestos Committee, or JUAC. These figures came from a recent survey. But the real number is probably a lot higher. More than half of the schools that were given the survey refused to respond. And some responded, yet not completely. Now that is a lot of asbestos. Asbestos was mentioned in classrooms, libraries, and toilets. There is a lot of asbestos, but it isn’t necessarily well cared for. Some schools did show that they were taking care of the asbestos in their buildings well but many did not. Some of the schools that responded didn’t even have an asbestos management plan in place. So many schools, so few taking proper care of their asbestos. They are exposing thousands of people to asbestos. And later, these people may get some of the many deadly diseases asbestos gives. Like mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other cancers. Now you know the problems. So the question is, how are the problems about asbestos being dealt with? The government’s policy was to leave the asbestos in situ, and, hopefully, eventually, it would take care of itself. Evidently that isn’t working. So what is being done? First of all, the JUAC is trying to get the Department for Education, or DfE, to make a central database. If done, the database would hold the information of which schools have asbestos and where it is located. Also its condition. If it is being taken care of properly. If it has been disturbed. What sort of threat its current condition is to the health of the pupils and teachers. Like Kevin Courtney who is the joint leader of the National Education Union said, it is really disgraceful that so many former pupils and staff are now dying from asbestos exposure at the schools. Chris Keates is the general secretary of the teaching union NASUWT. He is shocked that so many lives have to be put at risk before asbestos is removed from the schools. How many more will be until the government takes action? It is shocking that the government has failed to remove asbestos from schools. But that takes a lot of time, energy, and money. So it is extremely shocking that they haven’t even bothered to put a system in place for taking care of the asbestos. Asbestos is a huge problem in schools and potentially very dangerous. Recently the NASUWT took a survey. The results came back saying that seven in ten teachers say there is mold, dampness, or leaks in their school. So the government poorly takes care of schools in more ways than one. According to the survey that found out how much asbestos there really is in schools in the United Kingdom, there is no system in place for how to take care of asbestos. The way schools were doing it varied widely. A spokesperson of the DfE said that they expect that soon there will be explicit and detailed plans in place for how to care for asbestos. The spokesperson also said that they recently launched an Asbestos Management Assurance Process. That will make sure that the schools are following the explicit rules that they hope will soon come into being. The DfE has invested 5.6 billion pounds, which is almost 7 billion dollars into the maintenance of schools. That includes taking care of asbestos, whether that is removing or encapsulating it. This is the United Kingdom. We live in Chicago. How can this possibly be important for us? Asbestos in schools is a huge problem all over the world. The United Kingdom has banned asbestos, but there is still a bunch all over their building. And the UK doesn’t want to remove it. Or at least it doesn’t want to bother. I’m sure they would love if it just disappeared. We could look at the way the people in the UK are dealing with this and take it as an example. Once a ban is passed, there is still a huge step in getting asbestos free, that is removing it. But that can be done before a ban too! And it should. Exposure you get before a ban counts towards cancer too! Call us now at (312) 586-8713 for a free quote for asbestos removing and testing.