Asbestos in Schools and the Impact on Students and Teachers

Posted: 20th Jul 23 10:00 AM

In our previous post, we explored the prevalence of asbestos in schools across the United Kingdom. Now, we delve deeper into the health risks associated with asbestos exposure, specifically focusing on the devastating disease known as mesothelioma. By understanding the implications of past exposure, we aim to raise awareness and provide valuable information to former students and teachers who may have been affected by asbestos.

Asbestos in Schools and Mesothelioma

Asbestos, when disturbed or damaged, releases microscopic dust and fibres into the air. When these fibres are inhaled or ingested, they can lodge themselves in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart, leading to various asbestos-related diseases. Among these diseases, mesothelioma is one of the most concerning and often fatal.

Mesothelioma: Definition and Types

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and rare form of cancer that primarily affects the mesothelial cells, which form the protective lining (mesothelium) of certain organs. The three main types of mesothelioma are pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma, depending on the location of the affected mesothelial cells.

  • Pleural Mesothelioma: This type affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) and is the most common form of mesothelioma. It can cause symptoms such as chest pain, persistent cough, shortness of breath, and fluid accumulation in the pleural space.
  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Targeting the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum), peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for a significant number of cases. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, swelling, weight loss, and bowel irregularities.
  • Pericardial Mesothelioma: The rarest form, pericardial mesothelioma affects the lining surrounding the heart (pericardium). Symptoms may include chest pain, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, and fluid accumulation around the heart.

Asbestos in Schools - Cancer Imaging

Latency Period and Past Exposure

Mesothelioma has a long latency period, which means that symptoms can take decades to develop following initial asbestos exposure. This characteristic makes it particularly challenging to connect current cases of mesothelioma to past exposure. Former students and teachers who were exposed to asbestos within schools may now be experiencing the consequences of that exposure, even years after leaving the educational environment.

Impact on Students and Teachers

For those affected, mesothelioma can significantly impact their quality of life, and unfortunately, it is often diagnosed at an advanced stage when treatment options are limited. The prognosis for mesothelioma remains poor, and the disease can be emotionally and financially burdensome for both patients and their families. Seeking legal advice and support is crucial for affected individuals to understand their rights and explore potential compensation options.

Legal Recourse and Compensation

Former students and teachers who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure within schools may be entitled to seek legal recourse and compensation. By consulting with experienced legal professionals specializing in asbestos-related claims, affected individuals can navigate the complexities of the legal system and pursue justice for the harm caused by exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos in Schools - Legal Recourse and Compensation

Understanding the health risks associated with asbestos, specifically mesothelioma, is crucial for former students and teachers who may have been exposed within schools. By recognizing the potential consequences of past exposure, individuals can take appropriate steps toward seeking medical support, exploring legal options, and accessing necessary resources. It is essential to engage with reputable legal advisors who possess expertise in asbestos-related and mesothelioma claims to guide affected individuals through the legal process, ensuring their rights are protected and the potential for compensation is pursued.

If you have any questions or concerns about past exposure to asbestos or have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, please contact the National Asbestos Helpline today. You can call us on Freephone 0800 043 6635, send an email to, or fill in our contact form here and we will get back to you promptly.