Ohio school extends summer break to abate asbestos threat

11 Aug 2017 by Sarah Mahan under News

800px Bauer Elementary ASBESTOS 2 100x100 Ohio school extends summer break to abate asbestos threatChildren across the United States are in the process of preparing for a new school year, if they are not already back in the classroom. But a private school in central will not be opening its doors on time after an asbestos tile floor was damaged, releasing asbestos dust into the air.

St. Michael School in Worthington, , announced it will begin classes Sept. 22, a month later than expected, to abate the Catholic school of the asbestos threat, according to The Columbus Dispatch. After debating whether to move classes to another site or postpone the start of classes, Sister John Paul told the news source they opted to push back the school’s start date, eliminating all unnecessary breaks and extending the school year to compensate, in order to “focus time and resources on getting the whole school operational faster.”

“I thank God that this did not happen while school was in session, and we are confident that the end result will be a thoroughly safe environment,” Sister John Paul wrote to parents.

Floor and ceiling tiles and other asbestos-tainted materials are being replaced in the school by a licensed contractor and people who accessed the school at the time asbestos was found have been notified. Insurance is covering the cost of the project, and the school is working with parents who are facing unexpected child-care costs due to the delay.

Asbestos threats are present  at  schools across the country, highlighted by the incident at St. Michael. For example, it was estimated in the 1980s—the last year a federal asbestos risk assessment was completed for schools—35,000 contained asbestos, according to Asbestos Nation. The Environmental Protection Agency estimated 15 million students and 1.4 million teachers were at risk of asbestos exposure then, and many of those buildings are still functioning as schools today.

 

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