Asbestos continues to be an issue for schools around the nation. Philadelphia is often in the news as more and more schools are closed, and students are disrupted as they are relocated. The most recent case was a local high school, forcing students to another facility and angering the community.
Chicago has not escaped unscathed. It has been found that many Chicago schools have tested positive for asbestos, and while school districts are attempting to address the issues but continue to run into roadblocks.
If building materials that contain asbestos begin to decompose over time, asbestos ﬁbers can become airborne and inhaled. This is especially harmful to marginalized communities that lack the resources to clean up the problem.
Teachers were unwittingly exposed to asbestos for years and put in harm’s way. A 2007 NIOSH report showed that teachers were twice as likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma than the average American, and in fact, teachers face a high risk of on-the-job exposure, particularly in schools that were constructed before 1980.
Materials containing asbestos become more dangerous as they deteriorate or get damaged. Research has shown that asbestos exposure is more dangerous the younger a person is, raising concerns over children’s future health.
Materials containing asbestos become more dangerous as they deteriorate or get damaged, and research has shown that asbestos exposure is more dangerous the younger a person is, raising concerns over children’s future health.
If a school building was built before the 1980s, it probably contains asbestos. U.S. consumption of asbestos peaked in 1973. Asbestos is highly resistant, so it was used in insulation, drywall, siding, roofing, ceiling tiles, and adhesives. It was also used in books and chalkboards.