Schools are safe, say council

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Education chiefs have said that Falkirk Council’s schools are safe after it was revealed more than two-thirds contain asbestos.

A report in a national newspaper highlighted that there were 46 schools and nursery in the Falkirk area with the deadly substance contained within the buildings.

Across Scotland over 1600 state nurseries, primaries and secondaries contain the material which was used as a cheap, fire-proof substance in the second half of the 20th century.

Inhaling asbestos fibres can lead to the killer disease mesothelioma – a lung cancer which appears up to 50 years after exposure.

But this week, a spokesman for Falkirk Council moved to allay concerns pointing out that “the overwhelming majority of buildings constructed in the UK before 1985 are highly likely to contain asbestos”.

He said: “Our schools are no different however, how asbestos is managed is the most important aspect of dealing with the issue and we have had proper procedures in place for dealing with this for many years.

“Schools have been extensively surveyed regarding the location of asbestos and wide ranging plans and risk assessments are in place for all of them that meet Health and Safety Executive guidance.

“Any contractors that we use are highly specialised and full accredited to the highest safety standards.

“We appreciate that concerns will always surround asbestos however with proper management we are confident that our schools are safe and there is no risk to our pupils and staff if work is carried out in affected buildings.”