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.
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.
Several brands of children's crayons and toy fingerprint test kits have been found to contain asbestos. The real tragedy is that none of these products have been recalled from store shelves or online retailers.
A $124,741 grant was recently awarded to the Texas Department of State Health Services by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help reduce asbestos exposure in public and private schools.