Safety worries as asbestos in 60% of Welsh schools

4th October 2021

Inconsistent monitoring of asbestos in Welsh schools could put pupils and staff at risk, unions have warned.

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request by BBC Wales shows more than 900 schools are known to contain asbestos.

Most are regularly inspected, but some surveys are 10 years old and often asbestos is suspected but not known. Unions want urgent action to be taken.

The Welsh Local Government Association said councils worked to “eliminate any risks as quickly as possible”.

Earlier this year there were concerns that some asbestos surveys were out of date after a pupil kicked a hole in a school wall, exposing previously undetected asbestos.

Asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999, because the fibres are linked to diseases including mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer.

However it can be found in many public buildings, including schools and hospitals built or refurbished during the last century.

If managed carefully, the presence of asbestos is less dangerous, as fibres must be inhaled to cause harm.

Source: BBC

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