Illinois middle school finishing asbestos removal project; students slated to return next week

31 Jan 2014 by under News

IL middle school ABC7 WLS image 100x100 Illinois middle school finishing asbestos removal project; students slated to return next weekAn Illinois middle school announced it has finished clearing asbestos that was discovered earlier this month. Workers repairing a leaking pipe and cleaning up resulting mold discovered the toxic substance in broken tiles around the work site. As a result, the school was closed for cleanup.

Students from the affected school, in Hinsdale, Ill., a suburb of , attended classes at nearby Clarendon Hills school during the cleanup. School official said it was “unlikely” that any students, teachers or staff were exposed to asbestos.

Asbestos exposure is linked to the development of mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs or abdomen, or, rarely, the heart. Asbestos does not usually pose a danger unless it is broken or crushed, which allows microscopic asbestos fibers to become airborne, where they can be inhaled or ingested.

School administrators were initially concerned about the presence of mold in the school, which was discovered when crews were repairing a sprinkler pipe that had burst due to the recent cold snap and hard freeze. The school was closed and inspected and the mold traced back to a leaking pipe. At that time, the work crew discovered asbestos in broken tiles around the pipe.

Experts will conduct tests for signs of mold or asbestos before allowing students to return to the school. There are strict guidelines for asbestos abatement to protect workers and the public. Asbestos-containing materials also must be properly disposed of in a site licensed to handle these hazardous materials.

School administrators believe students should be able to return to classes at Hinsdale by early next week.

Source: WLS-TV Chicago, ABC7

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