The daughter of a teacher who died of Mesothelioma has found that 86 per cent of schools across the country still have asbestos present – including 104 in Dorset.
Lucie Stephens, who sent the Freedom of Information requests, also found that Dorset County Council had to pay over £16,000 in compensation to an ex-employee who contracted Mesothelioma whilst working at the former Weymouth Central School during the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties.
If we remove the asbestos, we remove the exposure and people will stop dying.”
Mesothelioma “is a horrible cancer that tends to lead to death quite quickly after diagnosis,” according to Lucie, whose mother died in June of the disease.
It is always fatal and is only caused by exposure to asbestos.
Lucie added: “It’s something that can be prevented. If we remove the asbestos, we remove the exposure and people will stop dying.”
Health concerns linked to the material was discovered in the 1970s, and it was banned by the EU and many other countries.
39 affected schools across Bournemouth and Poole
The figure of 104 schools breaks down to five in Bournemouth, 34 in Poole and 65 across the rest of the county.
In a statement, Bournemouth Council said they “will not be removing the asbestos from schools, but will be continuing to manage the risk in these premises,” whilst Poole Council were unable to respond in the allotted time frame.
An All-Party Parliamentary group recommended in 2012 the complete removal of asbestos in schools by 2028, but Lucie Stephens claims nothing has yet been achieved.
“It’s absolutely realistic, it’s a priority and it needs to happen,” Lucie continued.