East Ayrshire Council say they are continually monitoring the asbestos situation in schools in the area, after the number of items of asbestos was revealed.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Cumnock Chronicle to East Ayrshire found the following types and items of asbestos for schools in the area:

Catrine Nursery – Chrysotile 6 items; Catrine Primary School – Chrysotile 46 Amosite 5; Dalrymple Primary – Chrysotile 53 Amosite 4; Doon Academy – Chrysotile 143 Amosite 250 Crocidolite 1; Drongan Primary – Chrysotile 27 Amosite 8 Crocidolite 1; Greenmill Primary – Chrysotile 19; Logan Primary – Chrysotile 47 Amosite 1; Netherthird Primary – Chrysotile 11; Ochiltree Primary – Chrysotile 12 Amosite 6 and Stewarton Academy – Chrysotile 19.

Despite not being able to determine how dangerous each item of asbestos can be from this information, an asbestos removal specialist told the Chronicle that all types of asbestos are dangerous, especially if they are not dealt with properly.

Particularly in Doon Academy, where the number of items are so high, the expert said that there is more chance of a dangerous asbestos, because there are more items, but admitted it was difficult to tell the full story from the data.

East Ayrshire have said that they are managing the asbestos in the schools, and some plans are in place for replacement buildings, as did happen with the new Barony Campus.

A council spokesperson said: “East Ayrshire Council manages all asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) within our buildings in strict accordance with the requirements of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP), which accompanies these regulations.

“While there are no specific review frequencies set out in law, the ACOP states that the management plan should be reviewed every 12 months, as a minimum, and also reviewed where there is reason to believe that circumstances have changed, for example a change in building use.

“The council complies with the guidance set out in the ACOP.

“All ACM within buildings has been identified and risk assessed; management plans are in place to manage those ACM’s and all ACM’s are inspected on an annual basis by suitably qualified staff or contractors. These formal annual inspections are also supported by non-formal checks carried out by facilities co-ordinators who are based in our schools and have all been trained in asbestos awareness.

“These co-ordinators also hold the asbestos registers for their respective buildings.

“In many cases, it is safer to retain asbestos in situ, according to HSE guidance, as long as it is being properly managed, in good condition and unlikely to be damaged or disturbed, which is in line with our current management arrangements.

“However the council’s capital investment and refurbishment programmes, where practical does include removal or reduction of asbestos in our buildings. For example, recent new builds at William McIlvanney Campus and Barony Campus, built to current building regulations, have replaced the previous school buildings that had asbestos. This is also the situation with Doon Academy Campus, which has been identified for replacement within the current capital programme.

“In relation to Doon Academy, there are additional control measures in place to manage the ACM within that building, which includes the following:all facilities co-ordinators are asbestos awareness trained (as in all schools and non-domestic buildings); The ACM (Amosite) has been fully encapsulated by our professional, licenced contractor; All contractors and staff carrying out works which may disturb the fabric of the building must check the asbestos register before carrying out the work and contractors will also be issued with an asbestos refurbishment survey undertaken by our UKAS registered analytical contractor (applies to all works which may disturb the fabric of the building); Periodic air sampling (every 6 months) is carried out by our analytical contractor as an additional reassurance for Doon Academy.

“Finally, it is important to highlight that not all ACM in buildings is reasonably accessible or is easily removed without major disruption. As an example, some of the ACM highlighted in the initial response will be contained in things like packers within voids or similar and be almost completely inaccessible.”