Asbestos was one of the most popular (now banned) building materials used in the UK’s integrated construction industry from the early 1950’s into the 1990s. As a building material, asbestos was a stout bundle of fibers which helped create solid roofs, pipe lagging, ceiling panels as well as having many other uses.
Although asbestos is now illegal in the UK, it is thought that up to 90% of schools still contain this deadly material and, as far as we’re concerned, this is something which must change. This article looks at some of the risks associated with asbestos and why it’s a persistent problem and that the material should simply not remain in schools.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. When one is exposed (through breathing air contaminated by asbestos particles) their internal organ membrane is disturbed causing three common types of asbestos cancers:
Pleural mesothelioma- This is a type of asbestos related cancer which affects the external membrane of the lungs. It’s the most common kind of asbestos cancer and tears the walls of the lungs resulting in the lungs breaking down, and eventual death.
Peritoneal mesothelioma-This affects the stomach linings as a result of imbibing asbestos into the stomach. This is not so popular but a good number of asbestos cancers have been documented.
Pericardial mesothelioma- As the name suggests, this mesothelioma eats away the cardiac membranes causing eventual death.
This is another risk of having asbestos in UK schools. Although less common, research has shown that certain kinds of lung cancers have pointed to asbestos exposure as a trigger/cause for this kind of cancer.
Just like the cancers, Asbestosis is another risk UK schools are most likely to suffer from if they expose themselves to asbestos. This chronic condition is of an inflammatory nature. In this condition, asbestos fibers enter into the lungs damaging them gradually until they can function no more. Research shows that asbestosis can be reversed if discovered on time.
State of Asbestos in UK Schools
As outlined above, up to 90% of schools still contain asbestos, however in order to showcase the stats, facts and figures with you in a little more depth, we’re proud to share a fantastic infographic put together by Asbestos Advice Helpline:
Courtesy of: Asbestos Advice Helpline