Mum calls for asbestos to be removed from all school buildings

9th September 2014

A mother-of-two who was exposed to asbestos as a child says the substance should be removed from all school buildings in the UK.

Sarah Bowman attended William Gladstone High School in Brent from 1979 to 1984 and said that the ceilings of the school corridors and classrooms contained asbestos. She claims that pupils would often push up ceiling tiles, unwittingly covering themselves in asbestos dust. This also occurred when workmen carried out electrical improvements, reports

Around 75 per cent of schools in England and Wales are thought to contain asbestos, according to a recent Parliamentary report, and Ms Bowman has called for ministers to find and remove the deadly material. She said that even though she is in remission, her life is blighted by a fear that the cancer will return.

“To be told I had terminal illness and less than a year to live was too much to comprehend,” she stated. “I was devastated to find exposure to asbestos decades ago caused my illness and I hope more is done to ensure people are protected in future. I am relieved Brent admitted liability. I’m looking forward to returning to work and getting some normality back.”

Joanne Jefferies, Ms Bowman’s solicitor from Irwin Mitchell, said the legal firm has asked multiple times for a public building asbestos removal programme to be set up. She also noted that it is particularly important to identify the schools which contain asbestos, as children are more vulnerable to the material’s effects, reports