Weitz & Luxenberg Provides Information about the dangers asbestos posed to students nationwide
What dangers did asbestos pose to students and other members of the school community? Do those dangers still exist today?
Stringent regulations implemented by government institutions such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not exist prior to the 1970s. This means that almost all of the buildings constructed in earlier decades likely contained asbestos somewhere.The carcinogen satisfied unlimited construction and maintenance needs and was used to “fill spaces, cover items, insulate pipes, mix with liquids, strengthen cement, and keep damp areas dry.” (City Web)
Since asbestos was primarily used to insulate heat sensitive areas such as boiler rooms, the likelihood of a student being directly exposed was minimal. There was perhaps a greater likelihood of second hand exposure to asbestos.
Weitz & Luxenberg is available to address your concerns regarding your asbestos exposure. If you have any questions about what legal avenue to pursue if you are suffering from mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer and asbestosis, please do not hesitate to contact our firm.
Why was the school pipefitter covered in chalk?
Note: This is a fictionalized account of the dangers secondhand asbestos exposure posed to students
Rudolph attended School A in the 1950s. One day, as he was walking down the hallway to go to the bathroom, he came across Joe the pipefitter, covered in what looked like white dust. Rudolph laughed to himself, wondering why the man was covered in chalk. He did not realize that it was not chalk at all, but asbestos. Rudolph watched as Joe paused to scratch his hair, sending little flakes of white into the air…
What areas of a school building contained asbestos?
Asbestos was an ideal building material and could be found in the following building materials and areas:
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Certain forms of linoleum
- Window caulking and glazing
- Siding Material
- Corrugated heavy duty 8’ X 4 panels
- Glue that attached floor tiles to concrete or wood
- Soundproofing materials
- Patching compounds
- Steam pipes
- Flooring felt
- Roof coatings
What is being done today to protect children who attend school in older buildings?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been perhaps the most vocal about regulating and even banning asbestos use. “Although the removal of asbestos from school buildings is an option for schools, many schools and local education agencies, many schools and local education agencies have chosen not to disturb asbestos based materials.” (EPA)
In 1986, the EPA created the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), an act tailored to protect students and other members of the school community. AHERA mandates that local educational agencies to take the following actions:
- “Perform an original inspection and re-inspection every three years of asbestos-containing material.” (EPA)
- “Develop, maintain, and update an asbestos management plan and keep a copy at the school.” (EPA)
- “Provide yearly notification to parent, teacher, and employee organizations regarding the availability of the school's asbestos management plan and any asbestos abatement actions taken or planned in the school.” (EPA)
- “Designate a contact person to ensure the responsibilities of the local education agency are properly implemented.” (EPA)
- “Perform periodic surveillance of known or suspected asbestos-containing building material.” (EPA)
- “Ensure that properly-accredited professionals perform inspections and response actions and prepare management plans.” (EPA)
- “Provide custodial staff with asbestos-awareness training.” (EPA)
Asbestos Endangered Members of the School Community: Let Weitz & Luxenberg Be Your Legal Advisor
Weitz & Luxenberg understands how widespread the asbestos problem is not only across the United States, but around the world. The carelessness of so many asbestos industries in the past resulted in the pain, suffering and death of countless individuals who developed mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer and asbestosis.
Our firm has a team of skilled attorneys with a wealth of knowledge concerning asbestos-related ailments. To get started, simply fill out the form on this page and we will be in touch with you shortly. Remember, there is no cost unless we secure a verdict or settlement for you.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/asbestos_in_schools.html