Michael Lees from the campaign group Asbestos in Schools, will be amongst those attending a committee meeting today, to discuss the issue of asbestos.
Michael's wife Gina was a school teacher, who died from mesothelioma, the form of cancer developed from exposure to asbestos.
Speaking to Daybreak he said: "You are aware that asbestos exists, but you are certainly not aware of the dangers, and the fact that just the simple act of going to school, you can die of an industrial disease."
The Joint Union Asbestos Committee will attend an education committee hearing today to discuss what can be done about the amount of asbestos in schools.
The campaigners are calling for:
- An immediate warning to all schools about warm air cabinet heating systems, which contain asbestos
- An immediate audit of the condition and extent of asbestos in all UK schools and colleges
- A trial for wide spread air sampling to assess the risk
- A national strategic asbestos plan to include mandatory training for all staff and adequate resources
- The reintroduction of pro-active HSE inspections to determine the standards of asbestos management in all schools
- A long term phased removal of asbestos in all UK schools and colleges (priority to schools with asbestos in most dangerous condition)
Education Secretary Michael Gove and schools minister David Laws are due to attend this morning's committee meeting.
An education committee hearing will look at the issue of asbestos in schools for the first time today.
Seventy five per cent of all schools in the UK have asbestos, rising to 90 per cent in parts of Manchester and Wales.
Currently Britain has no national plan in place for dealing with asbestos, despite having the highest number of teachers dying from asbestos-related cancer, in the world.
With an average of a 30 year incubation period, it is thought that only now we will begin to see the contamination problems from the 1980s.
Women who work with asbestos are twice as likely to die from a stroke and 89% more likely to die of heart disease compared to the general population.
The corresponding figures for men were 63% and 39% respectively.
The link between asbestos and heart disease was discovered after scientists analysed the cause of death among nearly 100,000 asbestos workers.
Workers exposed to asbestos are at a “significantly greater risk” of heart disease and stroke compared to the general population.
Scientists analysed the cause of death among nearly 100,000 asbestos workers and found women are more likely to be affected than men
The research was carried out at the Health and Safety Laboratory in Buxton, Derbyshire.
Municipal Mutual Insurance is one of four insurance firms involved in the asbestos legal action. In a statement it said:
Maureen Edwards, whose father died of mesothelioma, said she was delighted by today's ruling after a 'horrendous' fight for justice.
Leslie Screach died in 2003 after being exposed to asbestos fibres. Today his daughter Ruth Durham said she still had mixed emotions:
Lawyer Helen Ashton said today's ruling provided "clarity and comfort" for families of mesothelioma victims. She represented the lead claimant in the case: