Eight out of 10 schools in Sheffield contain asbestos
School safety a high priority when it comes to asbestos says UKATA
The news that eight out of ten schools in Sheffield contain asbestos should be treated seriously and highlights the very real risks that asbestos still provides says the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA). The Sheffield Star newspaper conducted a campaign which revealed that 86 per cent of primary schools and 35 per cent of secondary schools in the city contain the potentially life threatening dust.
Now, experts at UKATA say that having asbestos present at any level in an environment where children learn and people work is unacceptable due to the very real dangers presented by the substance.
“We need to raise awareness of the real dangers of asbestos exposure and let people know that it’s definitely not a thing of the past,” said Craig Evans, UKATA General Manager. “If nothing else, stories like this do help to encourage people to rethink how they deal with the substance.”
Some schools in Sheffield are so worried about the dangers presented by asbestos that teachers and pupils are not putting drawing pins in the walls for posters and displays in case they disturb any asbestos that is present. The combined primary and secondary school figures show that overall, 80 per cent of schools in Sheffield currently contain asbestos, with research from London law firm Stephensons revealing that just under 68,000 children currently go to schools which contain the dangerous fibres.
“Asbestos often looks harmless and cannot be definitely identified just by looking at it,” added Craig. “We can’t change the past, but we can change attitudes now and cases like this serve as a great way to convey the message on the dangers of asbestos to the wider public.”
UKATA is the leading authority for asbestos training provision in the United Kingdom. Tasked by the HSE in 2008 to manage the licensed asbestos training providers, UKATA has gone from strength to strength and now has more than 180 member organisations from all corners of the UK.
Victoria Castelluccio, Marketing Officer