A lot of schools in Suffolk could possibly contain dangerous asbestos, new data reveals.
A Freedom of Information (FoI) request to the County Council has demonstrated that there are almost 350 schools still in the Suffolk County that could contain asbestos material.
A spokesperson representing the council said that an annual condition survey programme has been conducted at every site for monitoring the present condition of the toxic mineral. There are people appointed for regularly monitoring any changes in its condition. Between the surveys they monitor the condition on a day-to-day basis.
“The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has checked our administration system. The agency indicated that it is pleased with all our procedures,” the spokeswoman said.
“Our surveys have revealed that asbestos is there in schools only in solid materials’ form, for instance, asbestos cement. The fibers of asbestos are tightly locked then in the material’s matrix,” she said. “This type of asbestos poses a health threat only if the material is disturbed or broken. As long as it is stable, there is nothing to worry about because it doesn’t pose any risk,” she added.
According to Lisa Chambers, the cabinet member for the environment & property management, the asbestos administration plan of the council makes sure that the correct steps have been taken for minimizing the health hazards to everybody concerned.
According to the HSE, the person who has the duty to manage asbestos requires to: take sensible steps for finding out whether there are asbestos- containing materials in the non-domestic premises, and if yes, for finding out its amount, its location, and its present condition; presume that materials contain asbestos if there are no solid evidence that they do not; make and keep a record of location & condition of the asbestos-containing substances up-to-date – or substances that are believed to contain the dangerous mineral; assess anyone’s risk to be exposed to the dangerous fibers from the materials containing asbestos; prepare plan, which sets out in depth how to manage the risks from materials containing asbestos; take adequate steps for putting the plans into action; review & observe the plan as well as arrangements for acting on the substance periodically so that it remains up-to-date as well as relevant; and give information on the condition and location of the substances to anybody who is responsible to handle them.