Taking action against asbestos – a hidden danger in our schools

Time to tackle asbestos in our schools

AS children headed back into the classroom this week asbestos continues to be a problem in schools right across for the UK.

Unbelievably, more than 80% of schools still contain the material, potentially putting children and teachers at risk of serious health problems in the years to come.

As one of the country’s leading asbestos management consultancies, this is a cause which is really close to our hearts.

In  2021, Acorn Analytical Services launched a campaign on World Teacher’s Day in October to help raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos in schools and ensure it is effectively managed or removed safely.

As part of the hard-hitting campaign, Acorn offered free audits to all schools in Birmingham and raised the issue with local MPs to ensure it was raised in Parliament.

Our work on this important issue continues to this day. We are committed to educating as many people as possible about the dangers of asbestos through training, raising awareness through articles like this one and a range of books, guides and podcasts.

What’s happening to protect our schools?

Thankfully, it does appear that this important message is getting through.

We were delighted to learn this week that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be conducting an inspection of primary and secondary schools from September onwards to assess each school’s individual risk, something we believe is a really important step forward.

As school buildings age, the risk of the asbestos contained within them being damaged becomes even greater, so action is needed now to ensure children and teachers are protected.

What makes it so dangerous?

Asbestos was used extensively as a cheap building material in the 1950s and 1960s when many schools were built.

Its insulating and fire-retardant properties made it an ideal choice before the health risks were widely known.

Since 1999, the use of asbestos has been banned but it still lies dormant in many buildings and private homes. Left alone, it does not pose a threat, but it is does need to be properly managed.

If it is damaged, fibres could be released into the air increasing the risk of people breathing them in. That could lead to people developing mesothelioma in later life, a cancer which largely affects the lungs or the stomach and kills around 2,500 people every year in the UK.

What can I do to stay safe?

The only way to protect yourself from the hidden dangers is to carry out a full asbestos survey on your home or premises to identify if it is present.

If it is, you can make sure the asbestos in your premises is safely managed or removed as part of planned maintenance.

Acorn Analytical Services can help you with all your asbestos management needs. We carry out surveys, provide guidance on its management and and arrange for it to be removed.

It’s really important not to the dangers. Making sure you comply with the latest rules and regulations is of the utmost importance and, as one of the leading independent consultancies in the UK, we are always here to help you.

If you are a headteacher, and would like our support, or more information about how to manage the presence of asbestos within your school please get in touch with us today. We would be only too pleased to help.

Acorn is a professional asbestos consultancy helping organisations deal with compliance using  surveysair testing, and asbestos removal management. 

Please call one of the team, or use the online form to obtain your free quotation. If you would like further information or advice on asbestos and asbestos training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or Contact Us

Ian Stone

I am based out of our Northampton office but regularly travel to meet with new and existing clients. I have assisted thousands of clients over the years on varying sized projects, several have been schemes totalling over one million pounds spend purely on asbestos. Together with Neil Munro, I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I am Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

Mesothelioma day 2022

Mesothelioma Day: Shining a light on the work of Mesothelioma UK

TODAY, September 26, marks Mesothelioma Day in the US, an important day to raise awareness of the disease and of the dangers of asbestos worldwide. Even though asbestos was banned from new buildings in the UK more than 20 years ago, it is a problem we all still live with. Many buildings, including factories, schools … Read more

Behind the scenes of our laboratories

The science bit: Putting the important work of our laboratories under the microscope

AMONG the experts at Acorn Analytical Services is a dedicated team of laboratory analysts who work in our in-house laboratories in Northampton and Cleckheaton. Their work involves supporting our consultants, and our clients, by analysing samples of materials which are found on-site or sent to us to be investigated. Here we take a more detailed … Read more

Time to tackle asbestos in our schools

Taking action against asbestos – a hidden danger in our schools

AS children headed back into the classroom this week asbestos continues to be a problem in schools right across for the UK. Unbelievably, more than 80% of schools still contain the material, potentially putting children and teachers at risk of serious health problems in the years to come. As one of the country’s leading asbestos … Read more

Air testing is an important tool in the fight against asbestos

Air testing: Why nothing is more important than the air you breathe

AIR testing is an important way to protect yourself from the dangers of asbestos. Using state-of-the-art analytical equipment, Acorn Analytical Services can monitor the levels of asbestos fibres present in the air around you, making it even easier to make informed decisions when it comes to keeping yourself, and the people, around you safe. Here, … Read more

Asbestos training tutor, Daniel Crask

Asbestos training has never been more critical for your workforce

DESPITE being banned from new buildings in 1999, asbestos is still all around us which is why Acorn Analytical Services takes its commitment to education and asbestos training so seriously. By raising awareness of the potential dangers of asbestos through our UKATA-accredited asbestos awareness training courses, we aim to protect your workforce from the dangers … Read more

Cutting corners with asbestos could be costly

Tempted to save money with asbestos management? It could prove to be a costly mistake

WITH talk of a looming financial crisis everywhere at the moment you might be tempted to cut come corners in a bid to save yourself some money. But when it comes to managing asbestos, or anything to do with health and safety, not doing things by the book also comes at a price. Ian Stone, … Read more

Asbestos is common in many older buildings

It’s been banned for over 20 years, but we’re still living with asbestos

LOOK up at any old building in any town or city near you and it’s highly likely it will contain asbestos. First used more than 4,000 years ago, asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral used by early settlers in Finland to strengthen earthenware and cooking utensils. It came to Britain from Canada in the 1860s … Read more

Asbestos kills 20 tradespeople in the UK every day

Asbestos kills 20 tradespeople every day. Make sure you aren’t one of them

There is no room for complacency when it comes to handling asbestos as the latest figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show. Despite being banned in the use of new buildings since 1999, the building material, which was hugely popular in the 1950s and 1960s, is still a huge problem in older … Read more

Steve McQueen died from mesothelioma

Two cultural icons, one silent killer – mesothelioma

HOLLYWOOD actor and ‘King of Cool’ Steve McQueen and former manager of the Sex Pistols Malcolm McClaren – both global, cultural icons but, tragically, also victims of asbestos-related mesothelioma. Each year in the UK, 2,400 people – that’s six people every day – die from mesothelioma, a cancer which is caused by exposure to asbestos … Read more


Mesothelioma: How much do you really know about the disease which kills 2,400 people every year?

If you’ve heard of asbestos, chances are you’ve almost certainly heard of mesothelioma. But do you really know what it is and would you know how to protect yourself, your colleagues, and your loved ones from developing this silent killer in the future? What is mesothelioma? According to charity campaign ActionMeso which is run by … Read more