Most American citizens think asbestos exposure is a thing of the past, but it is all too current a concern. Buildings from asbestos’ heyday age containing asbestos fibers that have long remained “safely” tucked away, are now leading to concerns about asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania elementary schools and in other schools all over the country.
Asbestos Exposure in Pennsylvania Elementary: Facts
In 2018, Olney Elementary School learned there were asbestos fibers on a frequently used hallway, and it claimed to have sent an environmental team to address the issue. Philadelphia reporters recently conducted an investigation of 19 of the district’s “more run-down” schools and discovered that Olney’s asbestos problem had actually increased, from 8.5 million fibers per square centimeter to 10.7 million.
The Philadelphia Inquirer said the amount of asbestos fibers found at Olney was “more than 100 times higher than the level that health experts say is cause for alarm.”
How Dangerous is Asbestos in PA Schools?
Asbestos is not like other breathable hazards; you don’t realize you’ve inhaled it because it causes no irritation or symptoms at the time of exposure. Because there is no designated safe amount of asbestos, breathing in any asbestos fibers could lead to life-threatening mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases later in life. The amount of fibers and length of exposure increase the chances of developing a disease.
It is commonly believed that workers in construction trades are the only people who need to be concerned about asbestos exposure, but when you have deteriorating buildings releasing asbestos fibers into areas where people work and learn, anyone in the building is at risk.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that usually shows no symptoms until it is too late to treat, and it is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. Cancer usually forms decades after exposure, and awareness of the exposure and preventative testing are crucial to increase the chance of surviving mesothelioma.
Asbestos Exposure in Pennsylvania Elementary Schools Ignored
After the first report at Olney Elementary School, the district secured a metal jacket on a pipe in one of the problem areas of the school to reduce the chance of it shedding asbestos fibers. Even when the district spokesman, Lee Whack, was informed about the increase in asbestos at Olney, he only responded to say he would look at the areas mentioned in the report.
Have decision-makers in the school district addressed asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania elementary schools adequately? The education budget is reportedly strapped, resulting in repairs being put off and only partially completed. Large amounts of asbestos remain in the school, and have shown a notable increase in a very short, four-month period.
What to Do About Asbestos Fibers Found in Pennsylvania Schools
Schools built before 1981 contain asbestos, and some built since then do as well. That means any school may contain loose asbestos fibers, and many of the older schools contain extremely high amounts.
What steps can you take if asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania elementary schools has affected your family? Learn about the conditions at your child’s school, speak out about an asbestos ban and improving funding to school systems, and contact Nemeroff Law Firm. We are mesothelioma attorneys who can help determine if you have a case for individual compensation or a class action lawsuit. You can reach us at 1-866-342-1929 or through the form on our contact page.