69 out of 300 Flemish schools inspected last year have an urgent asbestos problem according to a response from Flemish environment minister Joke Schauvliege (CD & V) to a parliamentary question by MP Johan Danen (the Greens). Last year, the minister had an asbestos inventory carried out in 300 schools. It showed that 20 of the schools had an “urgent” problem in this regard.
It now appears, in updated figures presented by the minister, that the problem is much broader, with 69 institutions involved. The Public Waste Company of the Flemish Region (OVAM) has sent two letters to all schools and instructed them to deal with the problem. But, according to MEP Johan Danen, only about one-third of the schools responded.
Many Flemish schools are located in buildings that still contain asbestos in slate facades or around central heating pipes, which is dangerous in case of damage to the equipment. Last week, asbestos related to a worn pipe resulted in the evacuation of Xaverius college in Borgerhout.