Asbestos in schools a ‘public health danger’ to people of all ages throughout Scotland

Older man looking to camera

An event in Glasgow tomorrow (Friday 21st April) organised by two Scottish charities will hear that the presence of asbestos in school buildings is an urgent public health threat in Scotland.

Sarah Lyons, an official with the National Union of Teachers and a member of the Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) in England and Wales is one of the keynote speakers at “Asbestos: Challenges today and the threat to future generations”, organised by Clydebank Asbestos Group and Asbestos Action and supported by Digby Brown Solicitors.

In her address to the conference, Sarah Lyons will discuss the results of a recent JUAC report which showed that asbestos is still present in up to 75% of schools in England, and the work the group has done to raise awareness of the public health threat in this area, including securing a Department for Education review of its Asbestos Policy for Schools and new guidance to schools on dealing with the threat.

Fraser Simpson, Head of Industrial Disease at Digby Brown Solicitors, is calling for the Scottish Government and Local Authorities to follow England’s lead and take action. He said:

“The recent report into asbestos in schools in England makes for grim reading. Given the age of many school estates in Scotland, it is likely that a very high percentage of them contain asbestos. More needs to be done to raise awareness of this.

“It really is shocking to think that asbestos is still present in buildings which tens of thousands of children attend every day and where people go to work. This is a public health danger which needs to be addressed. The UK Government has taken action and we need to see the same urgency in Scotland.”

Read a Press Release about asbestos in schools with full details of the conference and extended quotes from Fraser Simpson.