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.