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Asbestos in Schools

In the not-too-distant past, asbestos seemed like a miraculous and harmless substance. It was relatively inexpensive and could be used in everything from tires to insulation. It is no surprise that asbestos found its way into schools, too.

As the people who handled asbestos got older, it became clear how dangerous it could be to handle and be around asbestos. Now, asbestos has limited uses but remains in older buildings, including schools.

Here’s what you should know about the asbestos that could be in your child’s school.

There are Rules

Removing asbestos can be an intense project, especially for large buildings like schools. However, in many cases, asbestos only poses a hazard if the particles are released into the air. To avoid expensive remodels, there are guidelines for how schools maintain areas that contain asbestos, including:

  • Maintaining a plan for asbestos management
  • Providing notifications to parents and staff regarding asbestos
  • Coordinating inspections by licensed professionals
  • Training custodians regarding asbestos

These federal rules fall under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), and they apply to both public and non-profit schools.

What is an Asbestos Management Plan?

Although a management plan is not as effective as removing asbestos from the school, it is one way that schools can provide a safer environment until they can perform remodels. An Asbestos Management Plan should include items such as:

  • Measures taken to reduce exposure
  • Re-inspections
  • Blueprints that identify areas that contain asbestos
  • Notification procedures for teachers, students, parents and other staff about asbestos management

Keep in mind, these measures are not a guarantee of safety, merely a method for tracking and reducing exposure. A school with asbestos will have specific hazards that a school without asbestos does not have. Part of the school’s asbestos plan includes your right to inspect the plan and be aware of how the school handles asbestos management.

Contact us today to learn more.

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