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Published On: Tue, Mar 13th, 2018

69 of 300 tested Belgian schools have asbestos problems, thousands at risk

nsnbc : Research undertaken by the Flemish Refuse Metals Company (OVAM) in Belgium has revealed that 69 out of 300 tested schools had an acute asbestos problem.

Asbestos, Belgium, archivesThe Flemish Refuse Materials Company (OVAM) has drawn up an asbestos inventory for 300 Flemish schools in Belgium. Asbestos, now banned as a highly hazardous material, has been used for a wide variety of purposes in the tested schools, including in roofing, cladding and insulation.

When ever any of the materials containing asbestos are damaged, or when they slowly disintegrate due to aging, they put teachers, pupils, and other users and people employed at the schools at risk.

Environment Minister Schavliege says that OVAM has already send the schools affected two emails to urge them to action. Lawmaker Johan Danen noted that : “There’s a false feeling of security when it comes to asbestos. The impact on health only emerges after 20 to 40 years. In schools the safety of thousands of pupils and teachers is affected. They are pointlessly being exposed to great danger. Action is urgently needed.”

The Flemish Refuse Metals Company (OVAM) insists that the figures are worrying but that the problem rate found in the survey cannot be extrapolated to all 3,600 Flemish schools. Most of the schools requested the screening because they had reason to be concerned.

F/AK – nsnbc 13.03.2018

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