Asbestos A Risk in Classrooms

by Sokolove Law

Asbestos is dangerous in any setting: not just on U.S. Navy ships or in construction sites or auto brake shops, but even in classrooms. And the danger applies both to children and teachers alike.

Because of this, the United Kingdom’s National Union of Teachers is demanding urgent government action on asbestos in school buildings, as a Morning Star Online story notes. So far, there has been an inadequate response, claims the union.

The U.K. Department for Education recently told government leaders the official policy was “to manage” asbestos-containing materials in buildings — but not to remove them. The goal is to “contain and actively manage asbestos and for its removal to be carried out correctly and safely.” This would happen, for example, during building demolition, when asbestos can’t be safely contained.

But containment is not the answer, especially in rooms filled with active children. Delegates at the union’s national conference recently stated that the issue is a “matter of life or death” since the majority of schools still has asbestos cladding. When disturbed, asbestos-containing materials can release deadly microscopic fibers into the air, where they can be inhaled and then embedded in the lungs.

“They [children] can knock the wall, bang it,” said one delegate. “Goodness knows how many drawing pins we put in it. The only safe way to manage asbestos is to remove it.”

More than 253 U.K. teachers have died from the asbestos-caused cancer mesothelioma since 1980, according to the story. And more than 2,000 people in the U.K. die from the incurable disease every year.

In the United States, asbestos is also still a major cause for concern. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that from 1999 to 2005, 18,068 Americans died from malignant mesothelioma. If you have been exposed to asbestos and developed an asbestos-related condition, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Call the experienced asbestos attorneys at Sokolove Law for a free case evaluation today.

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