by Eddie Harbinson

MORE than a dozen schools in north-west Glasgow contain asbestos, according to new figures.

But education chiefs have moved to put parents’ minds at ease after it was claimed children running through corridors could disturb the toxic substance.

A Freedom of Information request found 167 primaries, secondaries, nurseries and assisted support needs schools in the city contain asbestos.

Of those, 14 are in the north west.

Specialist officers are employed by the council to monitor Glasgow’s education facilities to ensure asbestos is not disturbed and cannot become harmful.

Despite that, Hope Robertson, Secretary of the Clydebank Asbestos Group, who cover the West of Scotland, said: “Asbestos costs an arm and a leg to remove but you can’t put a price on children’s lives.

“Kids run through corridors, they bang doors and that’s all it takes to disturb asbestos and make it go airborne.

“Parents should be aware of the fact that they can request a look at the asbestos register. Schools must be able to produce that.

“Folk say we’re scaremongering but schools, especially the Consortium of Local Authority Special Programme (CLASP) facilities, have the old pipe insulation systems in them. They are covered in asbestos.”

If undisturbed, asbestos doesn’t pose a health risk, but if material containing it is damaged, fibres can enter the lungs, causing asbestosis if exposed over a prolonged period.

That can lead to health complications including a thickening of the lining of the lungs and cancer.

Glasgow City Council confirmed that its education services team manages buildings on an “asbestos control” basis rather than an “asbestos free” basis as even following removal, facilities can never be totally rid of the substance.

A spokeswoman said: “We have a robust management programme in place to ensure safety in all our buildings and work closely with the Health and Safety Executive.

“The management of asbestos within occupied buildings is a complex arena, and whilst there are times where removal is appropriate, it is also true that on many occasions, asbestos is safer when left alone and managed appropriately.

“Asbestos that remains undisturbed presents no risk and it’s very unhelpful to worry parents unnecessarily as we would not take any health and safety risks when it comes to our children, young people and staff in our schools.”

The schools in north-west Glasgow are:

Knightswood Secondary School

Blairdardie Primary School

Bankhead Primary School

Corpus Christi Primary School

Cloverbank Nursery

Drummore Primary School

Langfaulds Primary School

Pikeman Nursery

Scotstoun Primary School

St Ninian’s Primary School

St Paul’s (Whiteinch) Primary

Whiteinch Nursery

Whiteinch Primary School

Knightswood Early Years