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Teacher Killed By Deadly Asbestos From Pinning Class Walls With Children's Work

14/08/2014 16:56 | Updated 22 May 2015

Art at school

A teacher died after breathing in deadly asbestos released when she pinned work up on her classroom walls.

Marion Potts, 63, died in June of mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos.

Her inquest in Southampton was told she had noticed it being released when she pinned up work or if walls were damaged by pupils but had no idea it was affecting her health.

Mrs Potts, known to friends as Jane, is one of more than 140 UK teachers to die from mesothelioma over the past decade, leading to calls to remove asbestos from schools.

Coroner Keith Wiseman said: "Mrs Potts particularly mentioned a variety of occasions – such as basic matters like putting up a display with drawing pins – where this material would come out of the walls or when they were damaged by pupils."

Recording a verdict of death from industrial disease, Mr Wiseman added: "'I hope all the necessary steps are taken in the future to ensure the elimination of this substance."

The inquest heard it was not known at which school the teacher was exposed to asbestos.

She retired from her most recent position as the head of English at The Romsey School, in Hampshire, two years ago after falling ill. Before that she worked at the New Forest Academy in Holbury.

But education bosses insist that both Hampshire schools where Mrs Potts worked are safe.

Mrs Potts' husband Michael, 63, a retired banker, called for it to be removed from schools immediately and said he was considering legal action.

He added: "You usually associate the disease with dockers or those working in industrial jobs, not teachers. These buildings are 50 years old and asbestos will come out because kids are always running around, banging into things and people stick things into the wall. She was never made aware of these dangers."

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