A UK based teachers’ union has recently expressed concerns that thousands of students and teachers learning or working in schools in Cumbria are at risk of being exposed to the potentially deadly carcinogenic, asbestos, due the buildings being lined with asbestos.

The claims have been made by the NASUWT. The association has called upon councils and local authorities to adopt a strategy for the complete removal of asbestos from schools. The council has admitted that most school do contain asbestos, but have said that it does not pose any danger.

One council official said: “Our long-term strategy is to manage what’s there rather than remove it. Over time, as old school buildings are knocked down and new ones built and major refurbishments happen, schools will become asbestos free as it’s not used in construction any more. But that’s an indefinite timescale and there won’t be any overnight sea change on how we manage asbestos.”

“If asbestos is in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed, it is perfectly safe. Current legislation does not impose a duty to ‘remove’ asbestos-containing materials. It imposes a ‘Duty to Manage’ asbestos-containing materials.”

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