A Yorkshire MP has called for action on asbestos in schools across the country.
Rachel Reeves, Labour MP for Leeds West, says it’s time for the Government to take action to eliminate the potentially-lethal asbestos fibres in classrooms that expose thousands of children and teachers to possible harm.
Despite bans on the use of asbestos coming into force from 1985, Ms Reeves – who is also the new chair of the Asbestos in Schools (AiS) group – believes asbestos remains a serious threat in schools.
Ms Reeves said: “It’s shocking that thousands of schools still contain asbestos, but parents, pupils and staff are completely unaware of it.
“No one should have to face the dangers posed by these deadly fibres simply because they are going to work or school.”
In a column for the Yorkshire Post, Ms Reeves said that in her new role she will be putting pressure on the Government and Education Secretary Justine Greening to do more to tackle the deadly threat of asbestos.
A ‘deadly dust’
The MP says the threat of asbestosis and asbestos-related illnesses is an issue that is close to home for her.
The J W Roberts textile factory, which falls within the MP’s constituency, is infamous for being the cause of a mass contamination of mesothelioma – a cancer typically caused by asbestos exposure.
The town of Armley, where the factory once stood, has been dubbed “the deadliest town in the UK”, due to having the highest incidence of mesothelioma in the nation.
Hundreds of former factory employees died as a result of the deadly dust and, despite closing in the 1950, nearby residents and children who attended the local school continued to fall victim to the deadly effects of asbestos for many years afterwards.
Ms Reeves has called for asbestos to be immediately removed as soon as it is discovered that the deadly fibres exist, in an effort to limit health risks to both students and teachers.
Source: Yorkshire Post
Date Published: September 18, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown