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Home > News > Personal Injury News

4th April 2006

Teachers at risk from Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos in schools

Unfortunately, asbestos is still present in many public buildings in the UK including schools. Not every school will still contain asbestos but in many it may be present in the ceiling tiles or walls and partition boards.

It is feared that teachers, pupils, support staff and other workers such as caretakers and cleaners could be at risk of breathing in dangerous asbestos fibres which can be released into the air if the asbestos is damaged or penetrated. Even piercing a wall or ceiling tile with drawing pins or staples can release fibres into the air.

Dangers of Asbestos

Breathing in fibres from asbestos can cause many different health problems including pleural plaques, pleural thickening, lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis (which is often misused as a term for all asbestos related illnesses).

The most devastating of all the asbestos related conditions is Mesothelioma (or meso as it is sometimes called), which is a deadly cancer which usually affects the lining of the lung.

Teachers at Risk?

Ian White was a headteacher at St Cuthbert's Roman Catholic School in Botcherby for 18 years before he retired and in 2005, at the age of 66. He died as a result of mesothelioma. Mr White's wife believes that he contracted the asbestos-related disease from ceiling tiles in the school.

Gina Lees was a teacher for 30 years and regularly used to hang her pupils' art work from the ceiling tiles in her classroom. She died from mesothelioma in 2000 and the Coroner gave a verdict of death from an industrial disease. He also stated that he considered that her asbestos exposure had occurred during her employment as a primary school teacher.

Ian McFall, Head of Asbestos Litigation at Thompsons Solicitors, who deal with all of Clear Answers' claims said "There is no safe threshold of exposure to asbestos. Even the level of exposure which could arise from disturbing asbestos materials still present in many of our older schools may be sufficient to cause the deadly cancer mesothelioma. The disease only develops on average 30 to 40 years or more after the asbestos fibres have been inhaled. Teachers, other school workers and pupils need to be protected now from the risk of asbestos exposure."

Compensation for an asbestos related illness

Clear Answers' specialist personal injury lawyers are experts in all areas of industrial disease and Asbestos claims, so can provide you with claim advice and guidance.

It may also be possible to make a posthumous claim if you suspect that a relative may have died as a result of asbestos related, mesothelioma.

Telephone us now on 0800 783 9019 or complete one of our online compensation claim forms.

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