Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has admitted she has no idea how many Scottish hospitals could be riddled with asbestos.
World renowned doctor, Mags Portman who died of mesothelioma last year, was believed to have been poisoned by the killer dust while she was a trainee in Carluke, Lanarkshire.
Freeman has now revealed an investigation has been ordered to find out how many hospitals in Scotland could be affected after conceding her Government has no idea of the figure.
“The Scottish Government recognise the hazard of asbestos and the risks to health that it poses.
“Asbestos is only dangerous when disturbed and the advice from the Health and Safety Executive is that asbestos should remain in-situ providing it is in ‘good’ condition.
And even where damage is minor, it should still be encapsulated rather than removed. Therefore, if it is safely managed and contained, it doesn’t present a health hazard.”
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, with about 2500 diagnoses in the UK each year. Nine in 10 cases are linked to exposure to asbestos, according to Mesothelioma UK.
The Scottish Government said: “As there is no central record of asbestos across the hospital estate, the Health Secretary has asked boards to provide this information by the end of April.”
Asbestos is still known as the Silent Killer, whether you are working in a domestic, commercial or industrial property built prior to 1999 you are required to have an asbestos register in place to comply with current legislation.