When you think about workers who experience asbestos exposure on the job, chances are you envision someone involved in the labor industry. It is known that construction workers, miners, and other blue-collar trades are at risk for exposure at work, but many people are surprised to find out that teachers are at risk, as well.
About half of the school buildings in America were built during the peak of asbestos use. The hazardous substance was used in an array of different construction materials, and in other products like chalkboards. As school buildings and the products within them deteriorate over the years, asbestos can be released into the air. Teachers, who often work in the same classroom for years on end, become individuals at risk for exposure and the diseases that can come with it.
In 1982, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that around 100,000 to 300,000 teachers were exposed to asbestos in classrooms. This occurred at 8,600 schools. Another report stated that 137 teachers died from mesothelioma between 1985 and 1999. Clearly, not all classrooms are as safe as they seem.