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'Educating Yorkshire' Teacher Is Allergic...To SCHOOL!

14/08/2014 16:55 | Updated 22 May 2015

'Educating Yorkshire' teacher is allergic...to SCHOOL!

A teacher who starred in the inspiring Channel 4 documentary series 'Educating Yorkshire' has revealed he is allergic to SCHOOL!

Deputy head Michael Steer, 36, says he faces a 'giant death trap' every time he walks through the gates at Thornhill Community Academy.

He is allergic to a whole list of classroom items, forcing him to often wear gloves while teaching. Danger items include red ink, smartboards, plastic chairs, computer screens, rulers, glue sticks, folders and marker pens.

Mr Steer suffers from a sensitivity to potassium dichromate as well as eczema and dermatitis, causing his hands and skin to swell up and become raw.

"The three skin conditions essentially combine to create the perfect storm - meaning there's a whole host of things in a classroom I'm allergic to," he said.

"I can't hold stationery, can't touch the board and can't mark students' work with red pens.

"Every day I wake up and go to work I'm walking into a giant death trap. "I'm allergic to the whole school."

Boisterous pupils can also worsen the effects of Mr Steer's allergy, with stress making him more prone to a reaction to potassium dichromate.

The chemical is found in thousands of every day products. It is used in dyes and colourings, adhesives, mobile phones, colour photos, paper, paint, shoes, wood polish and soap.

Mr Steer has suffered with his allergy from an early age.

"When I come into contact with the chemical my hands will balloon or sores will flare up, my knuckles will become stiff and tender to move," he said.

"It comes and goes, it gets better it gets worse. Being in a school environment there's a lot of things I cannot use.

"And if I do come into contact with something my body essentially attacks itself.

"When doctors first diagnosed it they gave me a whole list of things I was allergic to - from aeroplanes to army uniforms, match heads to raw chicken.

"It's a really bizarre condition that I've had to adapt to. I try to not let it affect me and my job."

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