Asbestos In Schools Cannot Be Ignored, Lawyer Demands

Expert Warns Of Dangers

13.12.2010

Warnings over the dangers of asbestos must not be lost in all of the debate surrounding its management in schools, a lawyer at Irwin Mitchell has demanded.

The issue of how to manage the presence of the material in educational buildings continues to rumble on, with both industry and national media regularly highlighting the differing opinions which emerge in relation to whether it should be removed.

However, Adrian Budgen, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in cases of asbestos-related illnesses and is also a member of the Asbestos in Schools Group, said it is clear the safety of building users must always come first.

“The impact that mesothelioma has on sufferers and their families is truly devastating, and it is clear that the consequences of coming into contact with the material are horrendous,” he explained.

“Asbestos exposure continues to claim far too many lives, so it is vital that action is taken to ensure that people who work in schools – from teachers to pupils – are able to breathe the air without any fear for their future health.

“Our main concern is children’s safety because the insult from the toxic mineral fibres, if inhaled by young lungs, is that much greater than if inhaled by fully-developed lungs - studies have shown that children are particularly vulnerable.

“We have represented teachers and other school workers who have sadly developed asbestos-related cancers, but there have also been cases like that of Dianne Willmore. She was exposed to the deadly material as a pupil in the 1970s and tragically died from mesothelioma last year.”