Veteran asbestos researcher and campaigner Michael Lee has been awarded an MBE in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Michael has fought to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos in schools since the death of his wife, Gina, 13 years ago. Gina was a nursery school teacher who developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos in a number of schools.
Michael was instrumental in setting up the Asbestos in Schools Group, which draws together groups and individuals with interests and expertise in this area. He also works with the Joint Union Asbestos Committee which aims to protect education workers from the dangers of asbestos in school buildings.
His extensive work with the media has served to highlight the issue of asbestos in schools to a wider audience and help make sure that problems with asbestos in school buildings are properly managed. He has also worked to bring pressure on the Government to assess the scale of the problem and the risks, and to implement policies to ensure the safety of staff and children in schools.
Kimberly Stubbs, Chair of JHMRF, says, “This is a very well deserved honour and a fantastic accolade for all of Michael’s hard work and dedication. We hope this recognition will also help to keep the need for research into mesothelioma firmly on the agenda.”
Annette Brooke MP, Chair of the Asbestos in Schools Group, says, “I am so delighted that Michael’s commitment and determination to raise awareness on asbestos in schools has been recognised. I know Michael will continue fighting until action is achieved on having a long term strategy for the removal of asbestos from our schools.”