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Asbestos in schools

More than 75% of school buildings contain asbestos and many – mostly the huge number built in the three decades after the second world war – are now coming to the end of their useful lives.

But some are unable to get rid of it because of disputes about who foots the bill.

According to a report from the all-party parliamentary group on occupational health and safety, all the 14,000 schools built between 1945 and 1975 contain the material, it says, along with most of those refurbished during that period.

The report estimates that even when a school building containing asbestos is in good condition, fibre levels are between 5 and 500 times those found outdoors. It clarifies that children attending these schools are likely to inhale around three million of the fibres during their school lives.

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