In the United States, the risk of malignant mesothelioma for educators is higher than that of the general population as a result of asbestos having been used in the construction of the majority of the nation’s schools. In response, strict regulations have been put in place regarding air quality and monitoring of the condition of asbestos in place, and millions of dollars are spent on asbestos remediation, as well as on relocating students and faculty. Unfortunately, the same high level of attention that is dedicated to protecting school children and educators is not present in the United Kingdom, where a recent study indicates that 80 percent of schools and 94% of National Health Service buildings are contaminated with about 6,000 tons of the carcinogenic material across 1,500 buildings. The study warns of dire consequences if the situation is not addressed.
The asbestos study was conducted by the think tank ResPublica, and among the other warnings the report contains is the fact that children in Britain are so poorly protected against mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases that they can legally be exposed to ten times as much of the toxic material as can children in Germany and other European countries. The results of this laxity in the United Kingdom’s regulation are clear: In 2017 there were 2,523 deaths from malignant mesothelioma, a number equal to that experienced in the United States, which has nearly five times the population.
The study reports that the United Kingdom’s school children are being put at higher risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases in part because the technology being used to gauge their air is outdated. “A child inhales between five and 10 cubic metres of air per day, meaning the permitted levels of airborne asbestos in the UK can expose a child to 100,000 fibres per day, compared with 10,000 fibres in Germany,” the report said. The impact on educators is clear. Over 300 teachers and education professionals have died of malignant mesothelioma since 2001, a number that is five times higher than that of teachers in populations not exposed to asbestos. Despite these figures, the government has frequently argued that it is safer to leave the asbestos in place than to disturb it in an attempt to remediate it. This decision continues to put children and teachers alike at high risk.
If you have been exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma as a result of lax attitudes towards protecting your health, we can help. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244 for more information.