Deadly asbestos has been learned in 42 North Ayrshire schools.
The cancer-causing substance was used to fire-proof buildings in the second half of the 20th century but a report has uncovered that it still exists in nearly half of Scotland’s schools.
An ‘alarmed’ MSP is calling for immediate action from the Scottish Government to make sure that kids are safe when attending schools.
Of the 42 North Ayrshire schools, nearly half – 19 – are in Irvine, Kilwinning and Stevenston – List MSP Jamie Greene has called for a plot of action after the revelations emerged at the weekend.
But North Ayrshire Council has said that safety remains a priority and the local authority follows a ‘strict asbestos inspection and management regime’.
After asbestos was used widely in buildings, it was later learned that inhaling asbestos fibres could result in lung cancer up to 50 years after exposure.
West Scotland MSP Jamie Greene said: “The report is alarming. 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 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 plot of action on the matter. Simply passing the buck to local authorities is not excellent enough.
“This matter is devolved to the Scottish Government and they should be taking the lead on addressing this concern.”
Cunninghame South MSP Ruth Maguire added: “The Scottish Government takes the issue of the handling of asbestos within public buildings very seriously.
“It has been clear with local authorities about its expectation that they follow Health and Safety Executive recommendations for managing asbestos.
North Ayrshire schools with asbestos
•Abbey Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Annick Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Ardeer Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Brisbane Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Corrie Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Corsehill Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Dykesmains Primary School
•Garnock Academy (to be demolished)
•Glebe Primary School
•Glencairn Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Hayocks Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Haysholm School – Irvine Royal Academy
•James McFarlane School
•James Reid School
•Kilmory Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Lamlash Primary School
•Loudoun Montgomery Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Moorpark Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Pennyburn Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Pirnmill Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Shiskine Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Skelmorlie Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Springside Primary School & Early Years Centre
•St Anthony’s Primary School
•St Bridget’s Primary School & Early Years Centre
•St John Ogilvie Primary School & Early Years Centre
•St John’s Primary School & Early Years Centre
•St Luke’s Primary School & Early Years Centre
•St Mark’s Primary School & Early Years Centre
•St Mary’s Primary School & Early Years Centre
•St Palladius Primary School
•St Winning’s Primary School & Early Years Centre
•Stanecastle School & Early Years Centre
•West Kilbride Primary School & Early Years Centre
• Whitehirst Park Primary School
• Whiting Bay Primary School
• Winton Primary School
“The Minister for Local Government, Kevin Stewart, has recently written to all local authorities following the recent Cole Report on schools to highlight its findings and underline their obligations in relation to verifying and enforcing building regulations, technical standards and the inspection processes which are in place to protect the public.
“Constituents might be concerned that Jamie Greene’s first action is a press release, rather than engaging with the local council to improve his understanding of things locally.”
Inhaling asbestos fibres can lead to the killer disease mesothelioma – a lung cancer – which appears up to 50 years after exposure.
Research released on Sunday found the deadly mineral was present in 1638 schools across 30 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.
A North Ayrshire Council spokesman said: “The safety and wellbeing of our young people and staff is a priority for the council.
“We know that MSP Jamie Greene’s press release may cause alarm.
“But we want 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 have carried out asbestos removal work in 30 of our existing schools.”
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