13 September 2023

RAAC isn’t the only problem: the potential danger of asbestos in schools

Ruth Craven Senior Associate

With the start of the new school term last week, the issue of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in schools has featured heavily in the press.

RACC is a lightweight, 'bubbly' form of concrete commonly used in construction between the 1950s and mid-1990s, which offered a cheaper alternative to standard concrete. Its short lifespan, however, means that its use in permanent buildings has caused problems.

RACC is not the only issue faced by Britain’s school estate. Like RAAC, asbestos-containing materials were also used extensively in the construction of schools and other public buildings from the 1950s - that is until the use of asbestos in Britain was completely banned in 1999. Many school buildings constructed or refurbished during this period still contain a significant amount of asbestos.

According to official data, there have been 147 asbestos-related deaths among health and education workers since 2017. Experts believe the figure is likely to be a significant underestimate because of the way someone’s profession is recorded on death certificates.

Despite more than 100 schools having been found to contain RACC, thankfully Lincolnshire County Council has confirmed that no schools in Lincolnshire are currently affected. Sadly, it is unlikely the same can be said for asbestos in Lincolnshire’s schools.

Here at Wilkin Chapman, we represent clients who have been negligently exposed to asbestos and have gone on to develop diseases such as mesothelioma. We work to recover damages on their behalf to enable them and their families to access the finances they need to cope with the devastating consequences. If you think we can help, get in touch with our specialist asbestos claim solicitors.

Ruth Craven, Wilkin Chapman LLP
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