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Asbestos in Schools

Misleading Statement
by Councils and other authorities

Misleading Statement:

“There is no need for panic, especially in schools because children are involved. If it is properly managed there is no evidence to suggest they’re at risk. There is also no evidence to suggest asbestos can affect children more than adults.”


We do not want panic but the statement above is both misleading and factually wrong. the flaws are as follows:

Flaw 1

There is ample evidence that the asbestos in many schools is not being properly managed. Read the closely referenced papers on the web site.

Flaw 2

There is also evidence that asbestos does affect children more than adults. Expert opinion considers that the risk of developing mesothelioma from an exposure early in life is greatly increased. Because of the long latency children are more likely to develop mesothelioma than adults as there is more time for the disease to develop. Expert opinion is also that because their physiology is developing that children are more at risk, however the increase in risk has never been quantified. A request that the risk to children is assessed was one of the key points put to the Prime Minister in May by the asbestos in schools group. Regrettably successive Governments have refused to carry out this risk assessment. It is therefore an easy step for them to even deny that there is a risk.

A closely referenced summary of the evidence for the effect on children is attached.

Michael Lees
2 Nov 2009