When you send your children off to school, you believe they will be safe, taken care of, and watched out for. While you may expect them to come home with a common cold or cough every now and then, you likely don’t expect them to come home with mesothelioma due to being inside the classroom.
Mesothelioma is deadly and devastating form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos, a material that was once used in building materials and countless other objects before it was found to be extremely dangerous and a cause of lung cancer. While 15 million students were at risk for asbestos exposure back in 1984, the numbers have dropped significantly over the past few years. However, that doesn’t mean the risk isn’t present.
11 California School Buildings Found to Have Asbestos
The asbestos exposure is still a serious issue in schools that must be taken into consideration. When schools fail to take the proper precautions to update older buildings, they can put students at risk. For example, just last year, 11 Ocean View school district buildings in California were found to have asbestos.
If there were renovations, demolitions, or updates performed on the building without catching the asbestos, it could have put thousands of students at risk. Thankfully, construction workers caught the asbestos and around 1,700 children were moved to other schools. Three of the schools even shut down for the rest of the school year so that proper modifications could be done. Currently, only one of the schools has opened again, with the other two remaining closed indefinitely until abate can be afforded.
How the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act Helps
In 1986, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act was created to hold both public and private schools accountable for performing habitual building inspections for asbestos. If they find any, they are required to clean and remove any asbestos-related threats under EPA and OSHA regulations on abatement. This ensures that workers and students are not put at risk for exposure if removal was done improperly.
Unfortunately, even with this act in place, many are still concerned that there is far more asbestos risk remaining in schools than people want to admit. Some are even trying to push for the government to cover some of the costs of asbestos abatement so that more schools can become asbestos free. For example, Ocean View has already spent $15 million cleaning up their schools and is struggling to finish repairs.
Since so much was done in the past to “eliminate” the risk of asbestos, many Americans feel like they are safe from dangerous exposure. However, symptoms of mesothelioma can take decades to develop. That means you could develop this deadly cancer years down the road, not realizing exposure long ago caused it.
Have you or a loved one been exposed to asbestos and now suffer from mesothelioma? Don’t wait to get legal protection and counsel. Call Arnold & Itkin today.