2023-08-25 10:28

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HSE Investigating Supply To Schools Of Metal Gauze Mats Which Contain Asbestos

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.

A HSE spokesperson said:

“While we assess the overall risk of exposure to be low, we have taken swift action. We have ensured that both of the supply companies concerned immediately ceased supply of the gauze mats and are overseeing arrangements to contact affected customers and provide precautionary advice on how the mats should be disposed of safely."

Pic: asbestos mat on bunsen burnerThe 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.

We are also investigating how these particular gauze mats came into circulation. Breaches of the restrictions on the supply of asbestos are taken very seriously by HSE.” concludes the statement from the HSE.

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.

Asbestos Forces Schools Closures In Wales And N Ireland

Parliamentary Safety Group Calls For Urgent Action On Asbestos In Schools

Government Watering Down Of Consumer Protection Laws Inadequate As Asbestos  In Children’s Products Sold in UK

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