Government consultation on asbestos management in schools
We previously reported that on 7th June 2013 the Committee on Carcinogenicity published its statement on the relative vulnerability of children to asbestos. The report found that children are more vulnerable to asbestos than adults over their lifetime. It found that a five year old is five times more likely than a thirty year old adult to develop mesothelioma if they are exposed to it at the same time. However, the Committee, the government and experts say there is no evidence that children’s’ lungs are more susceptible to mesothelioma, only that the risk to them is greater because of their expected longer life-expectancy and the time it takes the disease to develop.
Following the report, the Department of Education (DfE) opened a consultation on 31st January 2014 aiming to review the current DfE policy on asbestos management in schools. The DfE does not manage asbestos in schools in England but supports the current advice of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The DfE would like to hear from anyone, in particular those that are involved in the day to day management of asbestos in school, on the effectiveness of the current policy and guidance, and on how DfE can help duty holders such as local authorities and school governors, to fulfil their responsibilities.
The Consultation can considered in full at:
Responses to the consultation are due by 31st March 2014 and the DfE’s response is expected to be available by June 2014.