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Children at School at Risk to Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals that can be found in fabrics, products, walls, roofing and floors and is believed to cause fatal illnesses if prolonged inhalation takes place. Asbestos is banned, however people can still come into contact with it, putting their health in danger.

School

Most parents cannot walk into a school and identify traces of asbestos that could be harmful to their children; so it is important that The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are inspecting schools regularly, and that potential risks are being surveyed by a professional firm such as us here at IES.

Dangers of Asbestos

Asbestos exposure could increase the risk of asbestosis which is an inflammatory condition affecting the lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing and permanent lung damage, as well as other non-malignant lung and pleural disorders.

Steps Which Must Be Taken to Ensure Schools Are Safe from Asbestos

As per government requirements, all staff and children should have access to a safe and effective working and learning environment. Gov.uk will:

– Develop better and more targeted guidance on asbestos management in schools.

– Enhance the examination on duty holders for managing asbestos in their schools.

– Look at ways to improve their evidence base, including air sampling in schools.

– Continue to fund the removal of asbestos where appropriate, directly and indirectly, through their funding programmes.

– Encourage more academies to join the Risk Protection Arrangement.

In February 2015 the Department announced over £6 billion of new investment to improve the condition of school estates.

The duty holder

Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, the primary responsibility for managing asbestos in a school lies with the duty holder. The duty holder is anyone who has responsibility for the maintenance and/or repair of a building. Although a member of staff is the duty holder, a professional can be employed to carry out the assessment.

The headteacher must have a record of where the asbestos is, what condition it is in and the likelihood of exposure.

Shocking Results Found Asbestos in Kids’ Crayons

Crayones de cera

Tests undertaken by asbestosnation.org found asbestos in kids’ crayons crime scene kits and four brands of crayons, multiple marketed under the names of popular characters such as Mickey Mouse, Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is alarming because there was no warning of asbestos contamination, and a child exposed to it is 3.5 times more likely than a 25 year old to develop mesothelioma, a lung disease, that is only caused by asbestos.

Contact us today if you would like a team of experts to carry out an assessment for you.

Source: Image of crayons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crayon

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