Some Illinois students added a new word to their vocabulary when their grade school opened its door this month. The word? Asbestos.
Signs warning of asbestos greeted students on their return to the Tamaroa Grade School in Tamaroa, Illinois, according to local news station WSIL 3. Earlier this month school administrators had to remove about 900 square feet of asbestos floor tiles. Heavy rains in June severely damaged the tiles, which were in the schools basement dining area.
Like many older buildings, the flooring and things that were used years ago contained amounts of asbestos in them, Assistant Principal Cindy Opp told the news station.
Removing the damaged floor created the possibility of asbestos exposure, prompting the school to spend weeks hiring an abatement company and getting proper state approval for the project.
School administrators say that the school has followed all safety procedures for removing the asbestos, and students were never in danger because the damaged material was gone before they arrived. Air testing after the removal also came back clear.
Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, a rare and incurable cancer. Potential exposure to asbestos is a concern for parents and teachers because so many construction materials used in older schools contained the toxic substance.
The federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requires schools to regularly inspect buildings for asbestos-containing materials and to maintain a plan for containing or removing asbestos. Parents, teachers, and other school staff concerned about asbestos exposure have the right to view a copy of the plan.
If you or someone in your family has developed mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos, contact Sokolove Law for a free case consultation today.