There are almost 2,500 new cases of mesothelioma in the UK each year. This number is expected to rise by 100-120 a year until at least 2015. An estimated 250-300 of these new cases each year will be in the Northern region.
For decades asbestos products were used extensively throughout industry and as building materials. Today, asbestos is the single biggest cause of work-related deaths in the UK and very much a trade union issue. It is predicted that the number of people who die from mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, will continue to increase for the next 5 to 10 years.
Having already formed the successful Northern TUC Asbestos Support and Campaign Group to help sufferers of all asbestos-related diseases and campaigned for pleural plaques compensation the Northern TUC, teaching unions NASUWT,NUT and ATL, along with GMB and Unison are now awareness raising about the very real dangers of asbestos in schools with the launch of a new information pamphlet, 'Asbestos in Schools: What teachers, support staff, governors and heads need to know about the hidden killer within our schools'.
All schools built before 2000 are also highly likely to contain asbestos containing materials (ACM); it was used extensively in construction materials, insulation and fire prevention; over 75% of schools contain asbestos. As these building age and fall into disrepair the risk of asbestos exposure increases dramatically. The number of teachers who have dies from mesothelioma has increased by over 300% in the last twenty years. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
Children exposed to asbestos are five times more likely to develop mesothelioma than adult teachers in the same environment. A child of five is five times more likely to develop mesothelioma by the age of 80 than a teacher aged 30.
A copy of the pamphlet can be downloaded http://www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/406/TUCAU201 4pp A5 ASBESTOS.pdf.
For hard copies please contact the TUC Regional Office on 0191 232 3175.
Briefing document (400 words) issued 11 Oct 2012
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-21521-f0.cfm
printed 18 May 2013 at 21:38 hrs by 184.108.40.206