Asbestos may be present in over 40 North Ayrshire schools

Deadly asbestos could be present in many North Ayrshire Schools. Figures show that 42 schools across the district could still have asbestos in them. Research has found that asbestos was used in 1,638 schools in Scotland and in 30 out of 32 local authorities.

Asbestos was used in the second half of the 20th century as a cheap, fire-proof substance, however, it was later found that inhaling asbestos fibres could result in lung cancer up to 50 years after exposure.

West Scotland MSP Jamie Greene has raised concerns over asbestos being present in North Ayrshire schools. He said:

“The report is alarming. As many as 42 of our schools could contain this deadly substance which could have devastating consequences.

This is an immediate priority for the Scottish Government – they need to assess which schools are at risk and remove the threat. I will be writing to Deputy First Minister John Swinney and lodging parliamentary questions on the matter.

North Ayrshire needs immediate answers from the Scottish Government and to be made sure that their children are safe attending these schools.

If these schools are found to contain asbestos then I would expect a clear plan of action on the matter.

This matter is devolved to the Scottish Government and they should be taking the lead on addressing this concern.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said:

“The safety and wellbeing of our young people and staff is a priority for the Council.

We understand that MSP Jamie Greene’s press release may cause alarm. But we would like to ensure all parents, carers, pupils and, of course, our staff that we take the issue extremely seriously and take thorough and robust measures to ensure their health is never compromised.

We follow a strict asbestos inspection and management regime, in the relevant schools, in line with statutory guidelines.

We are also investing heavily in developing new schools across North Ayrshire and since 2012 havecarried out asbestos removal work in 30 of our existing schools.”