A PENSIONER who suffers from a rare cancer linked to asbestos has called for all political parties to pledge to remove the fibre from public buildings. 

Tam Mooney says he “cannot believe” it can still be found in locations such as schools and has demanded “no risks” are taken to protect children’s future. 

It comes amid warnings from charity campaigners that Scotland faces a “health time bomb” if asbestos is not removed from buildings as soon as possible. 

The 72-year-old has been receiving treatment for mesothelioma for nearly four years after being exposed to asbestos during two decades on Glasgow’s shipyards. 

The Govan man said: “I have been diagnosed with the deadly condition mesothelioma and so firmly believe that there should be no risks taken when it comes to our future: our children.

“I cannot believe that my grandchildren could be in a school which contains asbestos. 

“I am definitely asking the political leaders what their intentions are with respect to asbestos in schools and I want their answer sooner rather than later, as I don’t have the time to wait.” 

A Freedom of Information request from charity Action on Asbestos (formerly known as Clydeside Action on Asbestos) found asbestos was present in more than 1600 schools across Scotland. 

Phyllis Craig, CEO, said: “This is outrageous in terms of potential exposure to asbestos to our children and must be addressed. 

“The question of asbestos in our schools, hospitals and public buildings must be addressed by the politicians before the May elections.” 

Gary Smith, Scottish secretary of GMB Scotland and chair of Action on Asbestos, said:

“Thousands of men and women have died through no fault of their own because of exposure to asbestos.” 

SNP candidate for Greenock and Inverclyde Stuart McMillan said: “Myself and other SNP MSPs and ministers will be happy to engage with communities and building owners to establish their concerns around asbestos and their particular circumstances.

“Responsibility for the control and management of asbestos in local authority schools rests with the local authority, as duty holder.”

Scottish Labour’s communities, local government and housing spokesperson Pauline McNeill said: “Scottish Labour pledges to deliver a programme to remove asbestos from all public buildings. 

“We must never again fail workers like construction and shipbuilding workers were failed in the last century.” 

Scottish Conservatives’ communities spokesperson Annie Wells said: “No one should allow nasty old asbestos to still be stuffed inside our public buildings due to the dangers it can cause to our health

“The Scottish Conservatives are committed to working to remove this extremely harmful substance from our schools, hospitals, and town halls, or any other public facility.” 

The Glasgow Times also contacted the Scottish Liberal Democrats and Scottish Greens for comment.