A recent programme on BBC Victoria Derbyshire highlighted the all too real issue of asbestos in schools. The item featured three individuals who believe that their mesothelioma was caused by asbestos in schools.
Schools are seen as a place of education and development, not somewhere you expect to develop a disease that will take your life from you.
The programme highlights that between 2003 and 2012 nearly 22,000 people died of mesothelioma, for 224 of these individuals their last recorded profession was teaching.
How many of those that have died of mesothelioma have worked in schools previously, attended a school where asbestos was present or changed profession prior to their death? The true scale of the problem is unknown.
One of the three individuals interviewed who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma; Jenny Davis, who believe she came in to contact with asbestos through her job as a science teacher said she has no hopes but fear not knowing what it will be like when she dies.
The programme goes on to state the ¾ of schools in the UK contain asbestos and that legislation requires; as a minimum an asbestos register, monitoring, training and to notify others of the presence of asbestos.
The National Union of Teachers has called for the new government to deal with Asbestos in Schools and for a long term strategy to be put in place.
The programme is a very informative piece and highlights the concerns about asbestos in schools. We hope that this programme will help to raise asbestos awareness and to start people asking the correct questions if they are unsure.
For more information on Asbestos please visit: www.iatp.org.uk
BBC link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02txdl6