As a parent, you do everything possible to provide your children with a safe environment in which they will learn, develop and thrive. And when you send them to school, you trust all will be well. However, if your children attend classes in an older building, they could be around materials which contain asbestos.
Over time, exposure to asbestos could cause your children to develop mesothelioma. Though, it is often difficult to determine precisely how much asbestos may be lurking in the construction materials used to build your children’s schools.
Five things school districts should do to manage asbestos
Materials containing asbestos can deteriorate over time and can release asbestos fibers into the air. So, to protect students from the dangers of asbestos exposure, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) was passed by Congress in 1986.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believes most American schools contain asbestos. Though, there are specific steps your children’s school district can take to help prevent exposure. These include:
- Inspect the school grounds for asbestos
- Develop a plan for each school in the district to minimize children’s exposure to asbestos
- Cooperate with accredited professionals to improve airborne safety in schools
- Make the community aware of the inspection and management plan
- Provide public records regarding the district’s asbestos-related activities
Federal regulations do not prohibit the presence of asbestos-containing materials in schools. And in some cases, removing contaminated materials may increase health and safety risks.
However, if one of your children receives a mesothelioma diagnosis, you might wonder whether your district adhered to government restrictions. And depending on your circumstances, you and your children might be able to help make lasting changes to protect other children from airborne concerns at school.