A pile of harmful asbestos has remained outside a Birmingham school for three days after being dumped on Bank Holiday Monday, teachers revealed last night
Fly-tippers were caught on CCTV outside Montgomery Primary School, in Sparkbrook, off-loading the cancer-linked material. The waist-high pile is also located only yards away from the Gracelands Nursery which caters for 39 pre-school age children.
Despite staff at Montgomery School saying they had called the council repeatedly, officials had yesterday still failed to remove the substance.
Last night a council spokesman claimed it only learned about the problem after being contacted by The Birmingham Post and promised it would be cleared this morning.
Headteacher Olga Owen s aid: "We have gone through as many channels as we possibly can today.
"Obviously we want it cleared as soon as possible because of the safety of the children.
"It is bad enough getting fly-tipping outside a school and even worse when it is substances like that."
Ms Owen said the 700-pupil school has been forced to get staff to stand outside at the beginning and end of each day to prevent pupils going near the asbestos.
Asbestos is linked to mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer. The disease can take up to 40 years to develop after exposure. Those affected often die within a year of diagnosis.
CCTV footage revealed the material was dumped at 10.27am on Monday.
Arthur Lewis, a caretaker working for Birmingham City Council, claimed environmental health officials failed to deal with the problem after he alerted them on Tuesday morning.
"I was put through to environmental health who said they were not licensed to collect asbestos. They referred me to a registered contractor. They didn't want to know and left it up to me. If the kids started jumping on top of it, it will create dust. There is no fencing around it. My reaction is one of shock. I can't believe it."
Lib Dem councillor for Sparkbrook Dilawar Khan was also concerned about the failure to remove the material. "It is not acceptable, especially outside a school," he said.
"There is a problem with fly-tipping here but I haven't known it outside a school." He said he would be pressing environmental health officials to act first thing in the morning. The six sheets of asbestos, along with loose rubble, were dumped six feet from the main school gates.
An environmental health official at the city council claimed the material was unlikely to be of highest risk composition as it appeared to be embedded in concrete.
A spokesperson for the authority said: "We received a call on Wednesday reporting the dumping of suspected asbestos out-side Montgomery School.
" We immediately arranged for a specialist team to remove it at the first opportunity, which will be first thing Thursday morning."