Asbestos fibers found floating in air at Orleans Parish school

9 Nov 2018 by under News

classroom school desks Max Pixel image 100x100 Asbestos fibers found floating in air at Orleans Parish school

Collegiate Academies had scheduled to open Rosenwald Collegiate Academy in Orleans Parish in Louisiana in August, but after air quality testing revealed airborne asbestos in the building, the building has been shuttered. Abatement of the cancer-causing mineral will cost the district $1.3 million.

Last month, the Orleans Parish School Board approved a contract to abate at Rosenwald, and increased its contract with environmental firm MMG by $200,000, for a total of $700,000 over three years.

The Rosenwald building was used by the Algiers Charter School Association, but closed in June 2017 for students to attend better performing schools. The building was controlled by the Recovery School District before falling into the hands of the Orleans Parish school district last spring.

Apparently, while updating the 46-year-old building, Collegiate Academies conducted air quality testing that revealed asbestos fibers in the air. Understanding the seriousness of the issue, the organization called for asbestos abatement and remediation before the school could be opened. Rosenwald is currently holding classes at a temporary site until the asbestos can be removed and the building deemed safe.

Asbestos is a mineral that was commonly used in construction materials like floor tiles and adhesives, ceiling tiles and pipe insulation until the 1980s, when its use was restricted due to health risks. If left undisturbed, asbestos isn’t considered harmful. But if disturbed, its microscopic fibers can go airborne and be inhaled or swallowed, leading to diseases like the lung inflammation asbestosis, lung cancer, and , a rare but deadly form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or chest.

It can take decades for asbestos cancer to develop. Once diagnosed, the disease typically proves deadly within a year or two.

Source: Louisiana Weekly

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