Is There a Crisis of Asbestos in Schools?

All at SBS Asbestos keep an eye on the news for asbestos related stories. They are a chance for us to learn and remind ourselves of the nature of this material. Recently we have noticed a trend in the amount of schools that are announcing that they have asbestos within them.

In Kent, after a freedom of information request was made, it was revealed that 346 schools had asbestos present in them. This includes all kinds of schools from primary, right through to sixth forms and special needs schools.

So far Kent County Council have paid out £842,958 in compensation.

A few weeks ago we wrote an article that revealed over 200 schools in Derbyshire have asbestos in them with compensation totalling over £400,000.

In September of this year it was found that over half of schools in Liverpool could potentially have asbestos in them. There are also 39 schools in Croydon which have announced that asbestos may be present.

The reason that so many schools are declaring that there may be asbestos present is due to a growing number of people submitting freedom of information requests. As awareness of asbestos and the damage it can cause is growing more and more people are trying to find out where this material may be present.

Asbestos is found in schools for a simple reason. Asbestos was used extensively in buildings between 1950 and 2000. During this time there was a huge increase in the population of the UK, this meant that new schools had to be built in order to educate this increased population. Also, a lot of Victorian era buildings were coming to the end of their lives, and were being replaced by more modern buildings.

Asbestos can also be found in a huge number of industrial buildings, due to its fantastic practical properties.

SBS Asbestos offer a complete range of asbestos services, from asbestos surveys, to asbestos removal and disposal and the rebuilding of any damaged structures. To find out more about the services we provide just call us on 0800 211 8346.

UK to Have its First Demolition Degree

Demolition is a huge industry in the UK and works on more than £8billion worth of projects each year. In a developed country where land is scarce, like the UK, demolition plays a huge part in the construction industry.

However, it is only now that an official degree is being offered in this field. The Institute of Demolition Engineers (IDE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Wolverhampton that will enable 100 people per year to enrol in a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and Restoration Management in the Built Environment degree.

It is also hoped that the degree, and the prestige that comes with it, will reconcile some of the differences that the demolition industry has with the construction industry.

There will be 15 modules in total, one of which is dedicated entirely the removal and safe handling of asbestos.

This is obviously the module that SBS asbestos has the most interest in. Though there are professional qualifications that can be undertaken which allow the handling, removal and disposal of asbestos, there is currently nothing like a degree which can be awarded to engineers.

Also, teaching this module alongside demolition will lend a unique perspective to the nature of this material, and the role it has played in construction. Ideally this will translate to better processes and further developments in this field, which in turn will go on to improve the lives of people who are still being affected by this toxic material.

SBS Asbestos are a full service asbestos agency based in Yorkshire. We are one of the few companies that offers a full asbestos service, from the safe removal and disposal of asbestos, to the reinstatement of any damaged structures.

To find out more about our services just give us a call on 0800 211 8346.

Number of People Being Diagnosed with Mesothelioma on the Rise.

Despite the constant efforts of organisations like SBS Asbestos, the number of people being diagnosed with mesothelioma is actually on the rise.

Asbestos Action Tayside is a charity dedicated to assisting sufferers of asbestos related illnesses. They have noticed recently that there has been an increase in the amount of people being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Which is the complete opposite to what they predicted would be happening at this point in time.

It was expected that the peak number of diagnoses for mesothelioma would have been 2016. This means that the year we started to ‘win’ against this illness, and the number of people diagnosed would start to decline from this point onwards. However, due to a continued upward trend of diagnoses the peak year has now been pushed back to 2020.

Worryingly, the charity cannot see a clear cut reason for this continued increase. They suspect it may be to do with the large amount of trades people who worked with asbestos in the 60’s and 70’s who are starting to show symptoms. Although there is nothing but anecdotal evidence corroborating this.

Between September 2015 to August 2016 210 people were referred to the charity group, of this number 62 people received a terminal diagnoses. This is up from 34 of 163 people in the same time period the year before.

We don’t need to repeat the dangers of asbestos, and how it ruins lives every single day. Instead we will continue to do our job at SBS asbestos and work on removing this terrible materiel from every site we find it.

To find out more about our services simply call us on 0800 211 8346.

Derbyshire Council Paying Out Huge Amounts for Cancer Compensation

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.

To find out more about any of the services SBS provides, simply call us on 0800 211 8346.