The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been made aware that two UK laboratory supply companies have supplied schools and potentially other users with gauze mats which contain asbestos. The metal gauze mats are designed for use over Bunsen burners.
The Department Of Education, not known for it's urgent action on asbestos, given the amount in our school buildings, have been alerted:
“We are working closely with Department for Education, education departments in Scotland and Wales as well as CLEAPSS (Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services). This will help us ensure that schools, colleges, local regulators, and others who may have supplied or purchased similar products are directed to our advice.
However, when it comes to asbestos in imported products; this will be a problem that this country will face in the years to come as following Brexit, our government completes a UK/US Trade Deal which will allow entry into this country of products and children’s toys which, by US laws are allowed to contain 1% of asbestos!
Indeed, a store in the UK this May, has already been found to be selling US products to children which contain asbestos.
Source: HSE / Mavis Nye Foundation
See also unionsafety's E-Library Database for information on Asbestos and related issues such as:
The Management Of Asbestos In Schools DFE Policy and Asbestos In Schools Report by House of Commons Select Committee.