Wales, UK – The death of a retired school teacher has resulted in the Welsh Assembly Government and teachers demanding asbestos checks for all schools in Wales.
The coroner of Renee Blodwen Eden, who died at the age of 69, has linked her death to exposure to asbestos. Although Ms. Eden had supposedly never worked with asbestos in her life, the coroner recorded in the autopsy that she died from malignant mesothelioma caused by the presence of asbestos fibers in her body.
It is suspected that one or more of the three schools in Flintshire where she had taught during her career are contaminated. Mrs. Eden, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in April 2007, was said to have led a healthy life before that.
A recent report released by the National Union of Teachers shows that 145 teachers in England and Wales died between 1991 and 2000 from asbestos-related diseases.
Her husband, Allan Eden, and daughter, Kate, have joined the British Lung Foundation in its campaigning efforts against asbestos.
An NUT leader is has raised concerns about the health of other faculty and staff members, students, and anyone else who has visited a school in the country. All local education authorities are being asked to conduct asbestos surveys for the schools in their area to help assess the full risk that the country is facing.
A spokesperson for the Welsh Assembly spokesperson said it was the responsibility of school officials and local education authorities to ensure that its buildings are safe for anyone who enters.
The Flintshire County Council released a statement in which it offered condolences to the family of Mrs. Eden and said it would discuss the matter with the coroner. It also said that the council is required by law to abide by tough health and safety requirements, and it constantly monitors and maintains the safety of its buildings.