‘Right Decision Must Be Made’ Over Cwmcarn Asbestos Problems

New Report Calls For Demolition Of Main Block At School

21.11.2012

Authorities in Wales have been urged by an asbestos-related illness lawyer at Irwin Mitchell to ensure they make the right decision when it comes to the future of a Cwmcarn High School building where high levels of the deadly material were found, after a new report recommended its demolition.

The school in Ebbw Vale was closed last month following a report which found that airborne asbestos fibres were around ten times higher than accepted levels in its main block, while traces of the material were found on surfaces including window ledges.

Now, a survey by Santia Asbestos Management has found that the building poses ‘potential serious risk to health’ and should be demolished, adding it would be impractical to refurbish the building considering the safety upgrades which would be needed.

Pupils are being educated at the Ebbw Vale campus of Coleg Gwent for the rest of the year, while health clinics have been set up for parents and pupils following the concerns raised about the school.

Alida Coates, a Partner and specialist in asbestos-related disease at Irwin Mitchell, said it was vital for authorities in Wales to now take the necessary steps to protect staff and pupils at Cwmcarn High School.

She explained: “The findings of the report into the presence of asbestos at the school are clearly a massive concern and it is now vital that the local council and the Welsh Assembly take the right steps to ensure that no one is exposed to the deadly fibres.

“We have seen numerous occasions when people have had their lives turned upside down by developing serious illnesses which have come about as a result of asbestos exposure, in most cases decades earlier.

“It is vital that the mistakes seen in the past in the handling of asbestos are not made again now that the risks are so well known. It is clear that the evidence of asbestos is widespread and it is vital that the expert recommendations which have been offered are not ignored.

“The safety of anyone who uses the school must come first.” 

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