Asbestos and Schools
Asbestos found in hundreds of schools in the u.s.
Asbestos Fibers Pose a Health Threat
Six schools were temporarily shut down in Philadelphia in 2019 due to asbestos exposure. And a few years ago, a report found asbestos in 180 Chicago schools.
If building materials that contain asbestos begin to decompose over time, asbestos ﬁbers can be found in indoor air and may pose a health threat.
Breathing in those ﬁbers over a long period of time can increase the risk of asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
Asbestos and Teachers
A related study suggested that there were five times more deaths from mesothelioma among teachers in populations not exposed to the substance.
Materials containing asbestos become more dangerous as they deteriorate or get damaged. Research has shown that exposure to asbestos is more dangerous the younger a person is, raising concerns over the future health of children.
Most School Buildings Contain Asbestos
If a school building was built before the 1980’s, it probably contains asbestos. The U.S. consumption of asbestos peaked in 1973. Asbestos can resist heat, fire and electricity, so it was used in insulation, dry wall, siding, roofing, ceiling tiles, adhesives, and even in books and chalkboards.