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To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made regarding the levels of mesothelioma and other conditions that have arisen because of suspected exposure to asbestos in schools.

Answered by Maureen Watt (18/09/2015):

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the lead agency for safety in the workplace and has responsibility for enforcement of the related asbestos legislation and regulations. A report published in 2014 by the HSE titled Mesothelioma in Great Britain 2014: Mesothelioma mortality in Great Britain 1968-2013 analysed statistics on mesothelioma mortality in the UK between 1968 and 2013. This considered the overall scale of disease including trends in case numbers and deaths. It also includes an estimate of the future burden of mesothelioma deaths to 2030.

NHS National Services Scotland collects statistics on the detailed incidence, mortality and prevalence data for mesothelioma patients in Scotland. These are published on the Information Services Division Scotland website.

In relation specifically to exposure in schools, the Institute of Cancer Research and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine undertook a case control study for the Health and Safety Executive in 2009. Titled Occupational, domestic and environmental mesothelioma risks in Britain: A case-control study, this study was the largest global study of its kind, funded by Cancer Research UK and the HSE, and involved more than 600 patients with mesothelioma who were interviewed to examine UK rates of the disease linked to different occupations. It found there was little or no evidence of increased risk in non-industrial workplaces such as schools.

Current Status: Answered by Maureen Watt on 18/09/2015
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