102 schools with asbestos structures documented

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 16-01-2020 10:13:00 · 0 Comments

More than a hundred schools still have structures with asbestos, according to the Movimento Escolas Sem Amianto (MESA), which warns of cases where the removal of dangerous material has jeopardized the safety of students and employees.

The platform "There is asbestos in the School" emerged about two months ago and has so far identified 102 educational establishments where the presence of asbestos is a potential problem for the health of those who study or work there.

MESA coordinator, André Julião, told Lusa that the platform receives many complaints, but only those in which there are photographs and information proving the problem are counted.

"At the moment we have 102 schools pointed out as having asbestos. Many have complained to the General Directorate of School Establishments (DGEstE) but almost none have received a response," said Julião.

The presence of asbestos in the structures is not always synonymous with urgency in the removal of the materials, the architect and member of the environmentalist association Zero, Iria Roriz Madeira, also told Lusa, adding that the big problem is when the materials are degraded or when they are brittle and fall apart, which allows the release of asbestos fibers.

There is a list of public buildings containing asbestos that are identified according to the state of conservation of the structures and the degree of urgency of the work.

"When there is not a high priority it is necessary to wait", underlined Iria Roriz Madeira, denouncing cases of "quite bad removals" that end up being more dangerous to people's health, since they can cause the release of the fibers.

"We know of cases where inappropriate materials have been used, with grinders that break structures and end up releasing the fibres. We also know of removals made during the school term when the boards were left in the playground without any protection".

The coordinator of MESA criticized the fact that the updated list of public buildings with asbestos structures and the timing of the works, whose disclosure is mandatory by law and which the association has requested, remains unknown.

"The only response we received from the DGEstE was in November saying that they were finalising the list with data on the interventions carried out in schools in 2019".



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