OHSS Asbestos News - Schools in UK Ordered to Remove Bunsen Burner Gauze Mats from School Labs with Immediate Effect

7 Sep 2018

OHSS Asbestos News - Schools in UK Ordered to Remove Bunsen Burner Gauze Mats from School Labs with Immediate Effect

At OHSS Safety Consultants, we have more than 17 years in asbestos abatement and we are committed to helping to raise to awareness in how to remove asbestos safely, asbestos disposal and the importance of adhering to asbestos regulations.


With this in mind, we felt compelled to highlight some news from the UK, relating to asbestos that might have been unknowingly putting students in danger for years. The story relates to an order that has come from the UK Department for Education (DfE), to remove all gauze mats used with bunsen burners from school science labs across the country with immediate effect, as they were thought to contain asbestos.


Possible Dangerous Fumes
The gauze mats were produced by 2 unnamed manufacturers and have been used and in circulation in schools and colleges since the 1970s. It seems to have only recently come to light that these mats may have been produced with asbestos, which is what has led to this government edict. Until they can verify that they have gauze mats that don’t contain asbestos, schools and colleges across the UK have been told to remove them forthwith.


NASUWT Fury
The General Secretary the NASUWT, Chris Keates, has written to the Government Schools Minister, Damian Hinds, to demand that the two manufacturers of the offending gauze mats are made public. He also described his astonishment that the situation has been able to continue since the mid-1970s.


However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have themselves stated that the perceived threat to health is at this stage, thought to be very low. The DfE are said to be continuing a dialogue with the HSE and the Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Equipment (CLEAPSE) regarding the issue.


We will update you further when any developments occur.


For more information on this or any other asbestos abatement related subject, please visit our website www.ohss.ie or give our expert team a call on 01 6905907.

 


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