DepEd acts swiftly on asbestos ban in schools
The Department of Education acknowledges the commendation of a labor group which advocates the ban of asbestos in schools saying the department is continuously exhausting all means to ensure the safety of schools for learners and teachers.
The Associated Labor Union (ALU) has commended DepEd for its positive response to its call last month to remove asbestos-containing wire gauzes from public high schools, stopping further exposure of millions of students and teachers nationwide.
The discovery of a wire gauze used in schools, colleges and universities that contains 3 per cent Chrysotile asbestos lead to the call to phase out wire gauzes laden with cancer-causing asbestos mineral.
Asbestos is already banned in 54 countries due to its proven carcinogenic effect among people who get exposed to it.
“Part of our mandate is to ensure that the learning environment does not pose any kind of threat to the well-being of our students and school officials,” Education Secretary Armin Luistro said.
ALU has called the attention of Luistro to act swiftly on its call to save millions of students, teachers, non-teaching personnel and communities from primary and secondary exposure to the very dangerous asbestos dusts that cause cancer and other incurable diseases.
DepEd is currently taking the necessary steps toward the eventual phase out of the use of wire gauze and other school equipment that may be found laden with the hazardous mineral.
At the same time, it is also initiating efforts to explore safer alternatives for the asbestos-laden wire gauze. Luistro added that DepEd will be issuing a memorandum to all schools on the proper handling and disposal of wire gauzes.
“We have done the same in the case of mercury and mercury-laden gadgets and equipment, which is being phased out in all Philippine schools, including school clinics,” explained Luistro.