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 spent 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

Asbestos awareness: Education is key

Asbestos awareness: ‘Educating the public is key’

WHEN it comes to raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos, education and training are absolutely key. With so much advice out there, it can be difficult to know where to turn for information you can trust and training which is tailored to suit your individual needs. To mark national Day of Education, the team … Read more

Asbestos is a big problem on the high street

Asbestos on the high street continues to dominate the headlines

The headlines have once again been dominated this week by stories of high street premises which have been affected by asbestos. In November, Acorn Analytical Services shone a spotlight on the growing epidemic in towns and cities across the UK and urged companies and shop owners to put the safety of their staff and customers … Read more

Reducing asbestos in schools should be a clear priority

‘Reducing asbestos in schools should be our first priority’

FOR many years the team at Acorn Analytical Services has been calling for full asbestos risk assessments to be carried out in schools right across the UK. With many schools having been built during the post-war period when the use of asbestos was at its highest, we fear that many school buildings still contain the … Read more

Asbestos: Rates of mesothelioma continue to soar in women

Asbestos: Number of women affected by mesothelioma continues to soar

MORE women than ever are being affected by exposure to asbestos according to statistics published by Cancer Research UK. Between 2016 and 2018 rates of mesothelioma – the cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres -soared by 93% in women. Among those affected is 78-year-old Susan Ellis who recently shared her story with the Daily … Read more

Dan Crask and David Kelsey represent asbestos management consultancy, Acorn, at the NBCAs

Acorn Analytical Services – leading the way in the fight against asbestos epidemic

IT has been a busy year for the team at Acorn Analytical Services as we continue to work with new clients, grow our team and cement our place as one of the leading asbestos management companies in the UK. As we approach the end of the year, we thought we would take a moment to … Read more

Education is key to understanding asbestos

Understanding asbestos: Why educating your team is key

THE devastating effects of asbestos have been highlighted this week after a pensioner from Northamptonshire won compensation from a former employer after developing an asbestos-related illness. Patrick Collier, a former painter and decorator, received compensation in the Royal Courts of Justice after developing pleural thickening. His illness meant that he had to give up work … Read more

Remembering those who have died from asbestos exposure at work

One death from exposure to asbestos is one too many – it’s time for change

EACH year on December 12, the team at Acorn Analytical Services takes a moment to remember the lives lost in workplaces up and down the UK, either through injury or exposure to asbestos. By pausing to remember those who have died from workplace accidents, or from diseases such as lung cancer or mesothelioma, National Workplace … Read more

The UK is sitting on an asbestos timebomb

Asbestos Knowledge Empire: ‘UK is sitting on an asbestos timebomb’

RAISING awareness of the hidden dangers of asbestos is a key part of the work we do at Acorn Analytical Services. After more than 20 years in the asbestos industry, and having met people who have been directly affected by mesothelioma – the cancer caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos – it is something I … Read more

England star Stuart Pearce has helped to raise awareness of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma: How an England footballer is bringing home the dangers of this hidden killer

THIS afternoon, England’s Three Lions made a winning start to their World Cup campaign beating Iran in their first match in Qatar. But one footballing legend fears he could be in danger of developing mesothelioma after starting his career as an electrician in the 1980s. While former England legend Stuart Pearce is now undoubtedly best … Read more

Viviana, one of the newest members of Acorn's team

Team talk: Meet Viviana one of the talented new recruits at Acorn Analytical Services

WITH the UK in the grip of an asbestos epidemic, recruiting talented, experienced staff to join the award-winning team of experts at Acorn Analytical Services has never been more important. Despite being banned in new buildings more than 20 years ago, asbestos remains a huge problem for many businesses and, as a result, demand for … Read more