Letter: Schools hazard

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Cancer Research Campaign (CRC) is to educate children as young as nine in the facts about cancer (report, 24 February). Of course smoking is a major cause of lung cancer. However, environmental and occupational cancers are not insignificant.

Exposure to asbestos dust causes more than 3,000 cancer deaths per year. Many of our schools are riddled with asbestos. In 1994, Shirley Gibson, 36, became the first teacher to die of the asbestos cancer mesothelioma. Many local authorities have not identified the potential asbestos hazard in their schools, let alone done anything about it.

A J P DALTON

National Health and Safety Co-ordinator

Transport and General Workers Union

London SW1

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