PA school district cleans up asbestos contamination in elementary school

27 Jun 2018 by under News

asbestos warning 100x100 PA school district cleans up asbestos contamination in elementary schoolThe School District of Philadelphia finally vacuumed and sealed off damaged areas inside Olney Elementary School after The Inquirer and Daily News newspapers alerted the district that testing conducted at the school revealed 10.7 million asbestos fibers per square centimeter were found outside a classroom next to an insulated pipe that district officials claimed had been repaired in February.

Olney was one of 19 schools where newspaper reporters asked school staff to collect samples of suspected , lead dust, and mold spores, as part of the newspapers’ “Toxic City: Sick Schools” series. The highest number of fibers – 10.7 million per square centimeter – was found in Olney. That result is more than 100 times higher than what health experts deem a health risk.

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was commonly used in building materials and insulation. When disrupted, microscopic asbestos fibers can float in the air and be swallowed or inhaled. In time, exposure to these fibers can lead to , a rare and deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and other internal organs.

The news report captured the attention of lawmakers and the head of the teachers’ union, some of whom toured the school to inspect the damage themselves. They demanded the school district clean the mess immediately. School officials vacuumed concerning areas and sealed off areas where asbestos had been exposed. Special needs students were moved into a portable classroom from a classroom with damaged lead paint and high levels of asbestos.

The newspapers’ testing revealed eight other schools with alarmingly high levels of asbestos in areas accessible to students, such as gyms, hallways and classrooms.

Source: The Inquirer

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