29 schools in the Channel Islands still contain asbestos in buildings

A Freedom of Information request from ITV News has revealed that 13 schools in Jersey and 16 in Guernsey still have asbestos in their buildings. Credit: PA

29 schools in the Channel Islands still have asbestos in their buildings, according to a Freedom of Information request submitted by ITV News.

The islands' governments confirmed that 16 schools in Guernsey and 13 in Jersey are affected.

Asbestos was commonly used as building insulation up until the 1980s.

Before the material was banned in 2000, it was included in many products like boilers and pipes; car brakes and even floor tiles.Unless the material is disturbed or broken, it is not harmful to people, but when it is it can be toxic and cause several health problems.

All schools in the Bailiwick of Guernsey were last surveyed for the material in 2000 and any high-risk removals took place until 2010.

All schools built after 2000 did not use any asbestos-related materials in their construction.

Officials want to reassure islanders that buildings are safe to use and pose no threat to health.

  • Stuart Mc Donald, Asbestos specialist

A representative for Jersey Property Holdings, the government company that owns States buildings, said: "The presence of asbestos in school buildings is something that is being managed and is not currently causing any safety issues.

"What it does mean is that if work is required in any of the affected areas, it has to be approached in a particular way (and indeed, before any work in any building of a particular age is conducted it must be preceded by a protocol to ensure that no asbestos carrying materials can be disturbed). 

"The buildings are regularly monitored and parents should be assured there is no cause for concern."

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