DfE and HSE Guidance on Science Gauzes: School Action

Dear Parents and Carers,

In response to recent advice to all headteachers and principals from the Department for Education (DfE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), we have audited our stock of gauzes within the Science faculty and we have safely disposed of any gauze which may have included an asbestos-containing coating.

A gauze is a piece of equipment often used with a Bunsen burner and tripod. Advice from the HSE indicates that the risk from asbestos-containing gauzes is extremely low. This is because the gauze is mostly made of non-asbestos material (metal) and contact with a gauze is often minimal. At Chesterfield High School, we have responded with upmost urgency by safely removing any coated gauze as a precaution.

This issue has arisen due to failings on the part of some companies who have supplied gauzes to schools. Unfortunately, no school in England could have foreseen the potential risk attached to the use of coated gauzes which have been identified by the HSE of possibly containing asbestos.

For further information and/or reassurance, please visit the HSE website using the following link: