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Lesson 12

Asbestos in Schools

There are over 30,000 schools in the UK today and it is thought that more than 75% of them contain asbestos.

In the 25 years after the end of the Second World War nearly 14,000 schools were built, and all would have contained asbestos materials.

Why is this important?
The older the school the more likely it is to contain asbestos. Any school built before 1999 has a chance of featuring asbestos.

Although the government Health and Safety Executive (HSE) agency, believes the presence of asbestos in schools to be a “low risk”, it is not completely known exactly how many schools contain asbestos. Even your school may not know all the details. Only 46% of teachers surveyed in 2017 knew if their school contained asbestos and half of those had not been told where it was located!

What to look out for?
You should always be careful at school! Any of these materials could contain asbestos:

  • Roof tiles
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Broken or cracked flooring (including cement)
  • Broken pipes
  • Visible insulating material (behind walls, under the floor, in the ceiling)

What to do if you think you’ve seen asbestos?

  • Don’t touch it!
  • Tell your teacher