DEADLY asbestos is present in 80% of the schools in Warrington, research has revealed.

A total of 72 out of 90 primary and secondary schools in the area contain the potentially dangerous material.

Information, collected via a Freedom of Information request to Warrington Borough Council, also discovered that more than 20,900 school children in the area could potentially be exposed to asbestos in their classrooms on a daily basis.

Michael Lees, from campaign group Asbestos in Schools, said: "You are aware that asbestos exists, but you are certainly not aware of the dangers, and the fact that just the simple act of going to school, you can die of an industrial disease."

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral used in buildings between 1950 and 2000, but only poses a threat to an individual’s health once it’s exposed and starts to crumble.

The fear is that as the condition of these buildings continues to deteriorate so does the condition of the asbestos contained within them.

A spokesman for Warrington Borough Council said: “The presence of asbestos in school buildings is not uncommon and Warrington is no different to many other areas across the UK.

“However, we do take the issue of asbestos seriously and schools are required by health and safety legislation to manage safely the presence of asbestos within buildings and this is carried out in line with guidance provided by the HSE. “ According to figures from the Health and Safety Executive, 128 school teachers died from the asbestos-related lung cancer mesothelioma between 2002 and 2010 in the UK but it is argued that this figure does not even come close to the reality of the situation.

Asbestos in Schools has claimed that this figure underestimates the true scale of mesothelioma deaths among teachers because it does not include those aged 75 and over.

Britain has the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world, with someone dying from the disease every five hours.

Recent research by the Government’s Committee on Carcinogenicity has revealed that a child of five is more than five times more likely to develop the incurable disease by the age of 80 than a teacher aged 30.

A recent Freedom of Information request has revealed that the following schools contain asbestos.

Community Primary Schools: Alderman Bolton Community Primary School, Appleton Thorn Community Primary School, Barrowhall Community Primary School, Beamont Community Primary School, Bewsey Lodge Primary School, Bradshaw Community Primary School, Brook Acre Community Primary School, Broomfields Junior Primary School, Bruche Community Primary School, Burtonwood Community Primary School, Callands Primary School, Cherry Tree Primary School, Croft Primary School, Culcheth Community Primary School, Dallam Community Primary School, Evelyn Street Primary School, Gorse Covert Primary School, Locking Stumps Community Primary School, Meadowside Community Primary School, Newchurch Community Primary School, Oakwood Avenue Community Primary School, Oughtrington Community Primary School, Park Road Community Primary School, Penketh Community Primary School, Penketh South Community Primary School, Ravenbank Community Primary School, Statham Community Primary School, The Cobbs Infant Primary school, Thelwall Community Infant Primary School, Thelwall Community Junior Primary School, Twiss Green Community Primary School, Westbrook Old Hall Primary School, Woolston Community Primary School

Voluntary Aided Primary Schools: Birchwood CE Primary School, Christ Church CE Primary School, Cinnamon Brow CE Primary School, Glazebury CE Primary School, Grappenhall St. Wilfrid’s CE Primary School, Hollins Green St. Helen’s CE Primary School, Latchford CE St James CE Primary School, Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Sankey Valley St. James’ CE Primary School, St. Alban’s Catholic Primary School, St. Andrew’s CE Primary School, St. Augustine’s Catholic Primary School, St. Benedict’s Catholic Primary School, St. Bridget’s Catholic Primary School, St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, St. Lewis’ Catholic Primary School, St. Margaret’s CE Primary School, St. Monica’s Catholic Primary School, St. Oswald’s Catholic Primary School, St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Primary School, St. Peter’s Catholic Primary School, St. Stephen’s Catholic Primary School, St. Thomas’ CE Primary School, St. Vincent’s Catholic Primary School, Stretton St. Mathew’s CE Primary School, Warrington St. Ann’s CE Primary School, Warrington St. Barnabas CE Primary School, Winwick CE Primary School, Woolston CE Primary School

Community High Schools: Bridgewater High School, Birchwood High School

Voluntary Aided High Schools: Cardinal Newman High School, Sir Thomas Boteler CE High School, St. Gregory’s Catholic high School

Other establishments: Fox Wood School, Green Lane School, Grappenhall Hall School, New Horizons Centre

The following schools were found not to contain asbestos: Culcheth High School, Grappenhall Heys Primary School, Great Sankey Primary School,  St. Elphin’s Primary School, St. Philip (Westbrook) Primary School, 

What is asbestos?

A hazardous material regularly used in buildings from the 1950s until the late 1990s.

Mainly used for fireproofing and insulation and, if disturbed, can cause fatal illnesses.

It was mainly used in ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, boilers, sprayed coatings and garage roof tiles.

Its usage was banned in 1999.

As long as the asbestos is well maintained and not disturbed or disintegrating it does not present any immediate hazard to health.