Posted on July 19th, 2016
As asbestos-related risks became increasingly known, the public grew concerned about the potential effects of asbestos exposure in schools. If your child's school was built before the 1980s, you should assume that it contains asbestos.
Public schools, just as non-profit private schools, have specific regulatory requirements, according to the EPA, to protect children and employees from asbestos exposure. However, earlier this year, a new report showed that hundreds of students and school employees risk exposure to deadly asbestos in nearly 200 Chicago public schools. In 2013, Chicago Public School (CPS) officials hired inspectors to identify all the buildings that pose a real threat.
Children are particularly vulnerable to asbestos because their lungs are still developing and they breathe more rapidly than adults, thus taking in more air. Consequently, they may carry a higher risk than adults of developing asbestos-related diseases over their lifetime.
184 elementary, middle and high schools were thoroughly verified and the inspectors only found 11 buildings that had complied with the recommendations. The results were published in a 2015 CPS asbestos surveillance update. This is alarming news for everybody involved in the study, as well as for parents and school employees alike. According to the report, some schools were identified to have damaged asbestos-containing pipe insulation that apparently was separating at some places. Thus, all Chicago public schools identified to pose a real threat failed to follow the recommendations received from the contracted inspectors and violated the asbestos policy described in the Facility Performance Standards.
The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) and its regulations require public school districts and non-profit schools including charter schools and schools affiliated with religious institutions to:
An asbestos management plan is an effective way to help school duty holders to control asbestos in their premises. School authorities must maintain records that are included in the Asbestos Management Plan, including:
In order to be represented in an asbestos case, you need to have a disease caused by asbestos exposure and also have occupational or second-hand exposure. Our attorneys have helped asbestos victims for more than 25 years. If you or a family member is suffering from an asbestos-related disease, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.
While we cannot represent clients involved in cases like the one described above, we aim to raise awareness about the presence of asbestos in public buildings.