There are currently hundreds of schools in Derbyshire which may have asbestos in them. And after a freedom of information request got the details of all possible locations of asbestos, staff and pupils are being encouraged to look at the locations, and come forward with any potential compensation claims they might have.
This push is being supported by The Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team, who were originally established in order to provide support by those affected by mesothelioma and asbestosis in the Derbyshire area.
They noticed an increase in the amount of teachers, teaching staff and pupils in the area who started to suffer from these terrible illnesses. It was around this time that a freedom of information request was submitted to the council. The request sought the release of possible locations of asbestos in schools in the area.
The list revealed more than 200 schools that could have asbestos in them.
The council has recently had to settle claims for compensation with now total over £400,000. There are several cases still outstanding, so this number is set to increase.
Coordinator Joanne Gordon said: “It’s a shocking amount of money to be paid out but it’s the right thing to happen.
“We are seeing more and more teachers and school staff who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and we are launching a project to raise awareness of asbestos in schools.”
The Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team have added a new section to their website which informs people of the most likely place asbestos will be found in the school. They are also encouraging anyone who feels they may have been exposed to asbestos to go to their GP for an MRI scan.
Here at SBS we think that this is a fantastic initiative. Due to how widely asbestos was used in the 50 or so years it was legal it can crop up anywhere, including schools and even hospitals. By spreading the knowledge of asbestos as widely and quickly as possible we can prevent as many people from becoming ill as possible.
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