Asbestos in Schools
Call for a Parliamentary committee
It is requested that a Parliamentary committee is appointed to take evidence, consider and report on the issue of asbestos in schools.
The asbestos consultants association, the teachers' trade unions and specialist scientists have concerns that staff and pupils have been and continue to be exposed to unacceptable levels of asbestos fibres in our schools.
A particular problem with System built schools was identified in July 2006 when common classroom activities were found to be releasing dangerous levels of asbestos fibres into the rooms. This problem has been known about since 1987, but no action had been taken. About half the schools in the country are System built, it is therefore inevitable that a large number of staff and pupils have been exposed to asbestos over a prolonged period of time.
This particular problem, and the general problem of deteriorating asbestos in our schools, effects a large proportion of the population and yet the true extent of the problem, and the associated risks, have been either played down or kept from the public. Decisions and policies are being made which have profound implications on the past present and future health of staff and children. Many of those decisions and policies are controversial, and yet they are being taken by a small group of people without public or parliamentary discussion.
It is considered that the whole problem of asbestos in schools should be brought into the open for informed public debate. This matter effects most people in the country, therefore the evidence should be presented, examined and reported on by a Parliamentary committee. Informed decisions should then be made in Parliament.
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