The University of Montana recently discovered asbestos in a campus building being used for a preschool. They subsequently closed the building for cleaning and asbestos abatement. Meanwhile, the preschool has been moved to another building on campus until the other can be reopened.
Here are a few tips form the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization on how to keep your kids safe from asbestos in their schools:
Since the materials used to build many of the buildings in America contained asbestos, it is not uncommon to find the substance in older schools. Asbestos can often be found in floor and ceiling tiles, acoustical plaster, pipe insulation, and other materials. Fortunately the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (AHERA) exists to protect students and school employees from exposure on campus.
Due to asbestos use in classrooms across the country, teachers are at risk for being diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, like mesothelioma, today. Used extensively throughout the 20th century, asbestos was worked into insulation, pipe wrap, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, coatings, roof shingles and drywall in school buildings.
The auditorium at Steinert High School in New Jersey recently closed their auditorium for "precautionary reasons," while the school district tests for asbestos. The closure happened two days before the school's Spring Musical was scheduled to open.
Many of America's school buildings were built during the peak of asbestos use. According to the EPA, in 1984, nearly 35,000 schools were an exposure risk, releasing deadly airborne asbestos fibers from damaged building materials and other asbestos products. Many U.S. schools are receiving renovations, or are being completely torn down to make way for new, state-of-the-art buildings, such as in New Jersey.
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.
Last week, nearly 800 students returned to Oak View Elementary School for the 2015-16 school year. The campus in Huntington Beach, California, had been closed the previous year when the main school building tested positive for asbestos fibers during a modernization project.
We often hear about workers being exposed to asbestos on the job, but did you know that students face exposure at school, as well? Until the 1970s, nearly every school in the United States was constructed with asbestos-containing products.
Asbestos, a naturally-occurring mineral that is known to cause life-threatening diseases, is currently present in the thirty-four schools that make up the Hayward Unified School District in California. The presence of the substance puts 20,878 students at risk for exposure.