Asbestos ‘In 75% Of Schools In Leeds’

Campaigners Raise Concerns Regarding Presence Of Deadly Material


New research has suggested that around 190 schools across Leeds contain asbestos, with campaigners now calling for the safe removal of the deadly material.

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the material which was commonly used in construction for a number of decades could be present in up to three-quarters of the schools in the city.

The findings have been described as “chilling” by Kimberley Stubbs, the daughter of asbestos campaigner and mesothelioma victim June Hancock who established a charity to raise money for research into asbestos-related disease.

Her concerns were back by representatives of the Leeds branch of the National Union of Teachers, who called for a policy of “progressive removal” of the material.

Leeds City Council’s deputy director of children’s services Paul Brennan told the newspaper that there was no cause for alarm when the material is properly managed and monitored by authorities.

Expert Opinion
The figures highlighted by these local reports are a major concern, but sadly unsurprising as they come several years after an All-Party Parliamentary Group report concluded asbestos was present in more than 75 per cent of schools – with the issue being described as a national scandal.

"We have long-held concerns regarding this issue. The evidence is already there that pupils and teachers have been affected by and have died from mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure in schools. We have pursued many successful claims where such exposure has been responsible for illness to teachers, pupils and other staff.

"While asbestos is deemed safe if managed correctly, the simple fact is that the age of many school buildings means their conditions have begun to deteriorate – leaving many people at risk of exposure to the material. This is why we are strong supporters of calls for more steps to be taken to remove asbestos from schools at the earliest opportunity.

"Considering how well known the dangers of the material area, it is simply unacceptable that everything possible is not being done to protect people from harm."
Ian Bailey, Partner