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The new "bad reality" of the old asbestos

We all live with asbestos every day. Luckily, for most of us, the deadly fibers of the ubiquitous mineral are usually encapsulated within some material. Unluckily for a growing number of us, that material is aging.

When this happens, either all of the material is removed and replaced or it is ignored, becomes increasingly friable, and it becomes increasingly likely that some of the fibers will be released and become airborne, waiting to settle deep in an unsuspecting victims lungs, where it will lurk and decades into the future, make it presence known as the individual is diagnosed with mesothelioma. 

Last time we discussed the problems at the Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach, where it appeared that asbestos removal during a renovation project may have proceeded while children where in class in the buildings.

The three schools have now been closed and children have no place to go, as the district does not have any alternative buildings available.

One parent said, "I’m living in a bad reality show."

The district scrambled to relocate about 300 students to other schools in the district, but that still leaves 1,400 students without somewhere to go. And it could be 10 weeks before their school buildings will have the asbestos removal completed and they will be able to return.

The district still has not indicated if asbestos removal was going on while students were in class, but two of the schools had asbestos on site. Test results have not been released, but the OC Register reports that removing asbestos with children in the classrooms would have been a violation of state law.

Parents are worried that their children could have been exposed to asbestos.

What parents in every district in the state should be aware of is the fact that this probably could have been their children, as few districts are without asbestos containing buildings.

Orange County Register, "Asbestos issues have hundreds in Huntington without school site," Daniel Langhorne, October 10, 2014

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