Massachusetts middle school closed after removed flooring tests positive for asbestos

15 Oct 2013 by under News

200px asbestos warning 150x150 Massachusetts middle school closed after removed flooring tests positive for asbestos

A middle school in , Mass., was closed for two days last week after flooring materials that had been removed from the school during the summer tested positive for asbestos. Although tests showed safe air quality levels, Uxbridge School Superintendent Kevin Carney decided to keep children away from the building until it could be confirmed it was safe for them to return.

Asbestos was used for decades in building materials, to strengthen them and as a fire retardant. When left intact, asbestos is not dangerous. However, when the material is broken it can release microscopic asbestos fibers into the air. Asbestos fibers that are inhaled or ingested can lead to serious diseases, including a rare form of cancer known as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma may take decades to develop after exposure, and usually affects the lining of the lungs or abdomen. There is no known cure for mesothelioma.

In addition to the air quality tests, received a ceiling-to-floor cleaning by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor. In a letter to students, parents and staff members, Carney said tests conducted after the cleaning showed no asbestos fibers in latent dust at the school, and airborne fiber concentrations were not elevated.

Carney said he and his staff will continue to work with personnel from the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Labor Standards, and environmental analysts in the next few weeks to ensure all safety regulations are met and safety of students and staff is paramount.

The school houses students in grades 6-8. After being closed Oct. 8 and 9, the school reopened Oct. 10.

Sources:

NECN.com
Worcester Telegram

One Response to “Massachusetts middle school closed after removed flooring tests positive for asbestos”

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