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Asbestos health scare at Welsh school

There are calls to demolish a school in Wales after contractors found asbestos in the roof, sparking fears of a health scare.

Cwmcarn High School was forced to close in October following the discovery within the main block of the dangerous substance, which can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma and is linked to round 4,500 deaths every year.

It has since partially reopened and children have now been moved to a different school for the remainder of the academic year.

Santia Asbestos Management Limited issued a report in the aftermath of the school closing that according to the Caerphilly Observer said: “We are of the opinion that it is not feasible to continue operating the school in the current condition based on the risks imposed on occupants.”

An online petition has been launched to save the school and parents, pupils and teachers are now waiting to see what happens in the coming weeks.

Asbestos in schools has been in the headlines again in recent weeks when a report in the Western Telegraph revealed that 64 out of 70 schools in Pembrokeshire contain asbestos.

In Sunderland, meanwhile, a former shipyard worker has been awarded compensation after exposure to asbestos in the workplace has left him breathless and unable to walk long distances.

Robert Kemp, a 75-year-old who worked in the shipyards between from the 1950s to the 1980s, had a lung cancer scare a couple of years ago, but was instead diagnosed with diffuse pleural thickening that has hampered his quality of life.

He told the Sunderland Echo: “This has had a huge impact on my life.

“It is very frustrating that I cannot do the things I used to be able to do. I am terrified that I will get asbestos cancer in the future and this fear lives with me all the time.”

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