According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, federal regulations are in place that deal specifically with asbestos in schools.
Breathing in asbestos particles is a major risk factor for mesothelioma — a cancer of the tissue lining the chest and abdominal cavity.
Asbestos was once widely used for insulation. The EPA says it’s generally not hazardous if left undisturbed. But if the material that contains asbestos is damaged or even worn too much, it can release particles that might be inhaled.
Accordingly, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) has a number of regulations in place for school districts to follow.
Among them are requirements that school districts:
- Perform an original inspection to determine whether asbestos-containing materials are present and then re-inspect asbestos-containing material in each school every three years.
- Develop, maintain, and update an asbestos management plan and keep a copy at the school.
- Provide yearly notification to parent, teacher, and employee organizations on the availability of the school’s asbestos management plan and any asbestos-related actions taken or planned in the school.
- Designate a contact person to ensure the responsibilities of the public school district or the non-profit school are properly implemented.
- Perform periodic surveillance of known or suspected asbestos-containing building material.
- Ensure that trained and licensed professionals perform inspections and take response actions.
- Provide custodial staff with asbestos-awareness training.
If you or a loved one have contracted mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, contact Lopez McHugh for a free consultation.
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