Asbestos remains prevalent in British school buildings

Asbestos in schools

It seems that every day or week, a new story emerges drawing attention to the fact that asbestos is far from a thing of the past, and that it is in fact continuing to be breathed in by new victims. One such story was that recently published in the Daily Express, revealing that almost nine in every 10 British school buildings still harbour the potentially fatal fibres.

The figures, which will be of great interest to many of those educational and other organisations contemplating investment in asbestos air testing and awareness training, were sourced from Freedom of Information requests to local authorities. They showed that the lethal dust is still present in 86 per cent of the country’s schools, which is much higher than previously thought.

However, leading asbestos expert Professor Julian Peto warned that it would be too expensive to remove all of the fibres, given that such a task would entail rebuilding schools and would “only save” 25 deaths a year. He added that it would be predominantly those over the age of 70 who would die as a result of any exposure during childhood.

The figures were obtained by campaigning group Asbestos in Schools, with founder Michael Lees accusing successive governments of brushing the issue “under the carpet” given the decades that it can take for the disease to develop. He bemoaned the “large number” of children who were exposed to asbestos in schools, which he said was “contributing to the terrible death toll.”

Father-of-two Mr Lees lost his then 51-year old primary school teacher wife, Gina, to the deadly asbestos-linked disease of the covering of the lungs, mesothelioma, in 2000. He described as “a step in the right direction” a review last week that ordered that teachers should be given compulsory asbestos training.

Of the 2,535 deaths a year in Britain that are attributed to mesothelioma, it is thought that 300 involved exposure to asbestos in schools.

Talk to Trident Surveying today about not just the appropriate asbestos awareness training for your own organisation, but also the most professional asbestos air testing and monitoring service. The latter encompasses four stage clearance testing, reassurance air tests, leak air tests and background air tests.

Widow in call for details about late husband’s asbestos exposure

asbestos dust, asbestos exposure, asbestos surveys

In yet another sad reminder of the critical role now played by asbestos surveys in Birmingham, Yorkshire, Teesside and other parts of the United Kingdom, the widow of a Bradford man who was diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer and died only weeks later is calling for his former colleagues to assist by providing information on how he may have come into contact with the fatal fibres.

Jeffrey Rushworth died at the age of 82 on October 31 last year. Most of his working life had been spent as a shopfitter and joiner. In conjunction with asbestos disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, his widow Joan has requested that his one-time workmates get in touch to help with their investigation into how and when he may have breathed in the material over several decades.

Mr Rushworth worked for Makins in Bradford in the 1950s, moving onto Charles Castles – also based in the city – in the 1960s. His employer between 1969 and 1994 was Northern Design, another Bradford company. As explained by Irwin Mitchell’s specialist asbestos lawyer Mark Aldridge, Jeffrey’s diagnosis with the aggressive and incurable mesothelioma cancer arose so late that he was too ill to provide full details of his working life.

Aldridge added that “As a result, we are urging his former colleagues to come forward and answer the many questions that his family have about his exposure and the working conditions he endured, as well as what measures, if any, were in place to protect employees of these firms.”

Mrs Rushworth, 82, now a Bridlington resident, said that the couple had moved to there so that they could enjoy the Yorkshire coastline in their retirement. When her husband first began to show symptoms in early 2014, neither of them knew the cause of his health problems. She urged any of his former colleagues to come forward with information to assist her search for justice regarding his death.

Anyone with any knowledge of the working conditions at any of the firms for which Mr Rushworth worked are urged to get in touch with Mark Aldridge at Irwin Mitchell. Meanwhile, those individuals and organisations in need of asbestos surveys in Birmingham to help to safeguard future generations of workers may wish to contact Trident Surveying for the complete service.

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