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Liverpool asbestos lawyer concerned at number of schools containing substance

Freedom of information request reveals high number of schools in Liverpool contain asbestos

Primary School

21 February 2017

Liverpool asbestos lawyer Kevin Johnson has reacted with concern to a story published in the Liverpool Echo which lists the number of schools in the Runcorn and Widnes areas that still contain asbestos.

The paper reports that a freedom of information request to Halton Borough Council resulted in 52 schools being shown to contain some type of asbestos-containing material (ACM).

Exposure to asbestos is the only cause of fatal lung cancer, mesothelioma.

Five of the schools are reported to have been demolished, with asbestos removed as part of the process. 

Surveys of buildings with asbestos containing material are carried out by the Council every year to assess the condition of the ACM, and to check that is has not deteriorated and needs removal.  

John Hughes, the local authority’s divisional manager for enterprise, community and resources, is reported as saying that no incidents of asbestos exposure have taken place in the last five years.

Specialist mesothelioma lawyer Kevin Johnson said:

“Asbestos is a very dangerous product which was widely used in the construction of schools and other buildings up until 1999.

“It is extremely worrying that so many schools in the Halton area contain asbestos. Mesothelioma takes decades to develop, and the earlier in life someone is exposed to asbestos the more likely they are to develop the condition.

“Everyday school activities such as pinning art work to boards that contain asbestos can result in asbestos fibres being released, thus exposing staff and pupils to the substance.

“The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety has called for the urgent removal of all asbestos from public buildings, but thousands of buildings around the UK still contain ACM.

“As only a small amount of asbestos exposure can lead to these serious illnesses it is vital that local authorities in Halton and throughout the UK continue to monitor the state of ACM in schools very carefully to protect the health of staff and students.”

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