17/04/2008

Asbestos Threat In NI Schools

Up to 93 schools in Northern Ireland have not yet removed cancer-causing asbestos from their buildings, it has emerged.

Currently, there are 65 primary schools, including nurseries, and 28 secondary level schools, including special schools, which have still to eliminate the insulating material completely from their buildings.

In response to a question from DUP Health Spokeswoman Iris Robinson, Education Minister Caitriona Ruane said: "The Education and Library Boards have completed asbestos surveys of schools and other educational buildings. All top priority asbestos has now been removed from school property.

"Where it is not considered necessary to remove the asbestos immediately, the boards and other school authorities are responsible for managing the asbestos safely."

Ms Ruane's department confirmed that the majority of schools across Northern Ireland still have asbestos remaining in their buildings, but said that in most it is deemed either unnecessary to remove it or it is being dealt with by an asbestos management plan.

(VB/JM)

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