Council pressure could expose school pupils to cancer risk

Yardley School’s decision to remain closed whilst the asbestos released from a recent nearby fire is cleared is certainly the correct one. As the General Manager for the UK Asbestos Training Association, I can 100% support the Head Teacher’s call to protect students despite pressure from Birmingham City Council.

Every parent has an expectation when they send their child to school that they will be safe. However, with pictures posted by the school’s Head this week revealing that work is still underway to decontaminate the site, student welfare simply cannot be guaranteed.

Asbestos remains the biggest workplace killer in the UK, causing diseases such as mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, for which there is no cure. Asbestos is dubbed “the hidden killer” because it becomes dangerous when disturbed as toxic dust becomes airborne and are inhaled.

Safe removal by trained professionals is essential for public health and whilst both parents and the council are understandably getting anxious that their kids are missing out on their education their safety cannot and should not be compromised. The risk from asbestos must never be underestimated.

The removal of the asbestos at Yardley School is currently being dealt with by experts and until they give the green light, the pupils should not return.