Did you know that teachers are some of those most at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease due to exposure at work? Teachers are exposed to asbestos within older school buildings when different products begin to break down over time. A few of these products include:
The backing of chalkboards is just one place in schools that asbestos is prominent. Teachers are often near chalkboard all day long, year after year.
Until asbestos use was halted in the 1970s, floor tiles commonly contained asbestos. Once these tiles begin to break down, friable asbestos can become airborne. Once asbestos is breathed in by a teacher, their risk for developing asbestos-related disease immediately increases.
The insulation around piping and in older school buildings are likely to contain asbestos. School janitors often notice deteriorating insulation in classrooms where teachers spend most of their time.
Many of America's school buildings were built during a time when asbestos was used extensively in construction across the country. Although some have argued that the amount of airborne asbestos in our schools is low, we know that there is really no safe level of asbestos exposure. In addition, a teacher may be exposed to cumulative amounts of asbestos from the classroom over the course of his or her teaching career.