Exposure to asbestos is a major problem in Scotland. Unfortunately, the UK ban in 1999 was not soon enough, and the building material had already been used in many public buildings, including almost all schools and nurseries built from the 1950s to the 1980s.
This could be one of the reasons why the country currently has the highest global incidence of mesothelioma – a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. In fact, according to the University of Glasgow, there were 175 cases of the condition diagnosed in 2014.
Because the nature of their work means they are likely to come into contact with the dangerous fibres, workers in heavy industries are at a greater risk of exposure than the average person.
But asbestos's regrettable existence in Scotland's public buildings means many more people could potentially be affected, including school children.
Scottish pupils vulnerable to mesothelioma
The risks of asbestos exposure in Scotland's schools means that both teachers and pupils could develop asbestos-related diseases including mesothelioma.
Because of the length of time between the initial exposure and for diagnosis of the diseases – up to forty years in some cases – people who were exposed to asbestos as schoolchildren may only now be experiencing the consequences as adults.
Take, for instance, Sandra Naylor, who developed mesothelioma which she believed was due to being exposed to asbestos while she was a pupil at a high school in Airdrie during the 1970s. She passed away in 2014 aged just 52. Sandra's husband, Iain Naylor, is now calling on all political parties to view the matter as a priority and work with asbestos charities to make sure all schools and other public buildings are safe for everyone.
The extensive use of asbestos in the previous century is a problem that, according to Thompsons' Partner and specialist lung disease lawyer Laura Blane, has created a "ticking time bomb" for many unfortunate victims.
Similarly, asbestos risk specialist Robin Howie has warned that "hundreds of public buildings have significant asbestos content".
"Routine maintenance and general dilapidation of those buildings causes a release of asbestos fibres into the air," Howie said. If these asbestos fibres go unregulated, then pupils continue to be at risk of inhaling them.
People suffering from a life-threatening disease all because they attended school is unacceptable.
That's why, if you've been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related illness and believe it's because of the unsafe conditions at your school, it's important that you seek the right legal advice. To help you and your family cope with the effects of the disease, claiming the fair amount of compensation is necessary and justified.
Make an asbestos claim with Thompsons
While a compensation claim with Thompsons can't turn back the clock, we may be able to get you the compensation you deserve so that you're better equipped to cope with your illness.
We have a team of lawyers who specialise in asbestos-related lung disease and we can help you whether you've developed an illness as the result of direct exposure or secondary exposure to asbestos. We can also help you if you're claiming for the loss of a loved one.
To discuss your case with one of our specialist lung disease lawyers, call 0800 0891331 today for an initial talk. We'll aim to give you peace of mind by answering all your questions, allowing you to reach the best decision on how to move forward. And if you do decide to proceed with a claim, our lawyers will always be on hand to offer expert guidance and support every step of the way.