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Petition calling for testing of children and teachers at blue water school reaches nearly 15k signatures

Buchanan High with corridor highlighted where four teachers diagnosed with cancer worked, and, left, the Gartsherrie works
Buchanan High with corridor highlighted where four teachers diagnosed with cancer worked, and, left, the Gartsherrie works

An online petition set up by parents of pupils at a North Lanarkshire school where four teachers contracted a rare form of cancer has reached almost 15,000 signatures.

The petition is calling for an independent inquiry to test pupils and teachers for toxins and contamination after The Sunday Post revealed four teachers contracted bladder cancer at Buchanan High School in Coatbridge.

At the time of writing, 13,280 people had signed the petition, which has a goal of 15,000.

Set up by local parent Lisa McCormick, she is urging the public to show support by demanding North Lanarkshire Council puts in place an independent investigation of the campus site to check the site is safe from toxic waste.

Buchanan High was opened in 2012 on a former ­landfill site used by Gartsherrie Ironworks for industrial waste, including chemicals and hazardous substances such as ­arsenic, nickel and lead.

It is a non-­denominational school for 96 pupils with additional ­support needs and shares a campus with St Ambrose High, which has 1,200 pupils.

Three of the teachers diagnosed with bladder cancer worked in the same corridor at Buchanan High School, which The Sunday Post also revealed pupils and staff were told not to drink tap water after it turned blue.

The public meeting on  June 6 2019 to discuss the revelations by the Sunday Post of pollution on the site of St Ambrose School and Buchanan high school, where blue water has been recorded flowing from the taps, and there has been a high incidence of cancer amongst staff.

Last week, two of the teachers currently battling bladder cancer also called for a public inquiry into potential health risks at Buchanan High. 

They spoke out after officials told a packed meeting of parents last Thursday that there was no connection between the cancers and the school.

Hundreds of parents demanded answers to their concerns over health risks at a packed public meeting at Townhead Community Centre, which also shares the campus with Buchanan High and St Ambrose High.

North Lanarkshire Council continues to state the site is safe and there is no evidence to link illness with contamination of air, soil or water at the site.

Speaking out on the petition, Lisa McCormick stated: “There is something not quite right with the site. This is clear. The number of teachers with cancer, kids going blind, arsenic detected in kids, kids with a clean bill of health before starting the school are now complaining of abnormal fatigue, nose bleeds, headaches and stomach cramps.

“Parents at the meeting pleaded for their children and staff to be tested but this fell on deaf ears and were told this would not be done.

“We need your help, we need to let people in power, Scottish Parliament and council officials know we will be listened to and we will not tolerate anyone playing Russian roulette with our children’s and teachers health and lives.

“Can you please sign the petition to show your support that we demand North Lanarkshire Council test each and every pupil and member of staff past and present for any toxins or contamination and an independent investigation of the campus site to check the site is safe from toxic waste.”


You can sign the petition here.