Asbestos in schools has killed over 200 teachers in the past ten years, figures have shown.

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, reveal that of the 211 teachers who have died of mesothelioma in 10 years, 128 passed away after the retirement age of 65 – showing the delayed effects of exposure to asbestos.

And for each teacher death, nine former pupils can be expected to also fall victim to what is known as the silent killer.

In an article in the Daily Mirror newspaper this week, Dr Mary Bousted, of the National Education Union, described the figures as “shocking”.

“No one should have to suffer an early death because the building they work in contains asbestos, she said.

“Education staff are at risk but of even greater concern are children, who are more vulnerable to developing mesothelioma if exposed at a young age.

“The only certain way to prevent future deaths is to rid our educational buildings of this deadly material.”

The Mirror is running an Asbestos Timebomb campaign, calling for a national audit of all 23,000 schools in England.

The paper’s story comes after a freedom of information request made to Birmingham City Council revealed that more than 80% of council-run schools in the city could contain asbestos.

Some 86% of schools contain asbestos, a study found in 2015. The material was typically used in buildings between the 1940s and 1970s.


Eton Environmental Group is experienced in conducting asbestos surveys in schools. For more information, or to arrange a free, no-obligation quotation, please contact us.