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Lawyers Support Demands To Rid Schools and Public Buildings Of Asbestos

MPs Call For Asbestos Eradication Law To Remove Material By 2035


Specialist asbestos lawyers from Irwin Mitchell have welcomed the All-Party Occupational Safety and Health Group’s calls to rid all schools and public buildings of asbestos by 2035, and have repeated calls for a risk register to be created to help tackle the increasingly worrying problem. 

MPs are campaigning for an asbestos eradication law to ensure all rented homes and public premises built before 2000 are inspected by 2022, and that all traces of asbestos are removed by the year 2035. 

The group has also requested that workplace inspections are implemented and house sale surveys list whether asbestos is present. 

Calls from MPs have been backed by asbestos disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who specialise in helping victims affected by mesothelioma and other conditions linked to exposure to the hazardous material. 

Irwin Mitchell has campaigned for many years alongside victims of asbestos-related diseases, to introduce measures to remove asbestos from public buildings, and have previously asked MPs to support their calls by implementing the following systems to eradicate asbestos: 

• Introduce a full risk register of all asbestos in public buildings 

• Ensure regular inspections are carried out to maintain an up to date risk register 

• Safely remove any damaged asbestos flagged as high risk in schools 

• Notify staff and parents of pupils attending ‘dangerous’ schools affected by asbestos 

• Reissue strict guidance on the management of asbestos to prevent future exposure. 

While much of the asbestos will currently be intact and of little danger to staff and pupils, when asbestos is disturbed or deteriorates it becomes extremely unsafe and inhaling the dust and fibres can lead to serious illness problems decades later.

Expert Opinion
“The majority of people associate asbestos-related diseases, like mesothelioma, with heavy industry, but in recent years we have seen a significant increase in the number of people exposed to asbestos in public buildings, particularly in schools and hospitals.

"We’re delighted that MPs are now supporting our initial call for action to combat the growing problem, and we will be supporting their campaign for an asbestos eradication law.

"Asbestos is highly dangerous so needs to be continuously audited, monitored and managed so that we can identify the asbestos that is at the highest risk of causing harm and take steps to safely remove it.”
Adrian Budgen, Partner

Ian Lavery MP, chair of the All-Party Group, who is leading the calls for the asbestos eradication law, said: “There is far too much complacency about the asbestos which we can still find in hundreds of thousands of workplaces as well as a majority of schools where children face exposure to this killer dust.

“We believe that the Government needs to start now on developing a programme to ensure that asbestos is safely removed from every workplace and public place so that we can end, once and for all this dreadful legacy which has killed so many people, and will continue to kill until asbestos is eradicated.”

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.

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