Shropshire Council says it will do its duty to ensure schoolchildren and other members of the public are kept safe, after new figures highlighted the presence of asbestos in hundreds of buildings in the area.
According to shropshirestar.com, the list of 391 properties includes 175 schools, 10 fire stations, 10 leisure facilities and 13 libraries. While the substance poses no immediate danger, the fibres released when it is disturbed are known to cause conditions like lung cancer, mesothelioma and pleural thickening.
Of the samples found, one per cent have been classed as ‘high risk’, 24 per cent are ‘medium risk’ and 75 per cent fall into the ‘low risk’ category.
The council says it has not been forced to close any buildings in recent years, and claims it has no records of anyone who has used the properties listed falling ill as a result of being exposed to the substance.
Head of commercial services Steph Jackson said: “Each asbestos sample has the risk sorted in order to establish its risk priority.
“The number of samples, sites and the ratio of risk priorities changes daily, as re-inspection surveys are completed and ongoing removal and remedial works are completed. I believe this demonstrates that we take our duties with regards to asbestos extremely seriously.”
Nearby Telford and Wrekin Council is in a similar situation, with 62 of its buildings confirmed to contain asbestos. It has spent around £280,000 in the past four years in an attempt to curb the issue.