The Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) sends a message of support to asbestos victims demonstrating today in Paris.
It is a scandal that people continue to be exposed to these deadly fibres on a daily basis throughout the world. Often adults and children are exposed simply through going to work or attending school.
In the UK, nearly 90% of schools contain asbestos and deaths from mesothelioma are increasing. In 2015, more than 16 school teachers and other schools staff died from mesothelioma and it has been estimated that 200-300 former pupils die each year as adults due to asbestos exposure when they at school. This number is likely to increase because much of the asbestos in our schools is old and deteriorating and there is a lack of funding for maintenance, renovation and demolition from central Government. It is clear that the policy of managing asbestos does not work, particularly in a school setting. Governments in the UK and around the world must commit to removing deadly asbestos from our schools and public buildings.
Notes for Editors
The Joint Union Asbestos Committee
The Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) was formed in 2010 and is a trade union campaigning committee comprising the 8 unions: Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL); National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT); NASUWT; National Education Union (NEU); Voice; plus the education sections of, UNISON, Unite, and the GMB: The Group has the objective of making all UK schools and colleges safe from the dangers of asbestos. All the unions in JUAC are also members of the Asbestos in Schools (AIS) campaign.
JUAC is a non-party political group and both JUAC and AIS have a common interest in making UK schools and colleges safe from the dangers of asbestos, both for staff and pupils. In the long term we wish to see all asbestos removed from all schools. However we recognise that, realistically, the focus in the short and medium term must be on safe management of asbestos in schools and colleges.