MP calls for schools’ asbestos checks

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A NORTH-East MP wants the Government to carry out asbestos checks at schools all over the country.

 Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery says the property audit is required to find out exactly how much asbestos there still is in older school buildings in the region.

 Mr Lavery said the Department of Education estimates that more than 75 per cent of the country’s 33,600 schools contain asbestos, which can cause the fatal lung disease mesothelioma.

 It is contained in pipe lagging and some insulation panels.

 Mr Lavery says particles can be released by repair work, drawing pins being pulled from wall and doors being slammed, and it is important to know exactly where the material has been used during the construction of buildings.

 He said: “The presence and instances of fibres being released is often played down.”