Asbestos and Schools
Asbestos found in hundreds of schools in the u.s.
Asbestos Fibers Pose a Health Threat
In 2019, six schools were temporarily shut down in Philadelphia due to asbestos exposure. Before 2019, a report found that 180 schools in Chicago tested positive for asbestos.
If building materials that contain asbestos begin to decompose over time, asbestos ﬁbers can become airborne and inhaled.
Inhaling these toxic ﬁbers over a prolonged period 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 exposed to the substance than not.
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 the future health of children.
Most School Buildings Contain Asbestos
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. Asbestos was also used in books and chalkboards.