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North Reading Prepares to Remove Asbestos From Schools

As the new school year is upon us, officials are planning out syllabi, scheduling events and trying to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

But what many school systems are considering, including the one in North Reading, is removal of asbestos from its facilities in order to protect children from being exposed and opening them up to the possibility of getting mesothelioma in New England.
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In 2011, it’s sad that there are still many schools that have buildings that contain asbestos. It’s been public knowledge for decades that long-term or even some exposure to asbestos can lead to a fatal diagnosis of mesothelioma or other illnesses. As Boston Mesothelioma Lawyers reported in July, one southern Massachusetts school’s buckling gymnasium floor is finally being replaced, at a cost of about $280,000. It’s a lot of money, but well worth the price of ensuring our children are kept safe from harmful asbestos fibers.

In North Reading, which is about 20 miles north of Boston, school officials must fork out about $275,000 to remove asbestos from the middle and high schools, the North Reading Patch reports. The move is part of a larger plan to replace the schools’ septic system for $2.5 million.

This is just part of a recent plan by school officials to remove asbestos from the schools over time. A boiler will be replaced at one of the district’s schools in order to remove asbestos. Federal environment specialists will be called on to test air before, during and after the process is complete.

Officials told the news media that an old boiler, piping and other materials will be removed from the building from an exterior door and that a wall made from cinder blocks encloses the boiler in order to seal it off from students or faculty, who won’t face exposure to harmful asbestos fibers.

What makes asbestos so dangerous is people typically don’t know they’ve been exposed. Older buildings used asbestos for years as insulation because it is so good at fighting off fire and it’s usefulness not only on the inside of a building’s walls, but also in tile, piping and other materials that people use every day.

Microscopic asbestos fibers can be inhaled or otherwise ingested and they travel through the blood system and land on major organs, such as the heart and lungs as well the lining of the stomach. There, they can stay for years and sometimes decades before showing up in common symptoms for mesothelioma, such as coughing, chest pain and built-up fluid. By then, it’s likely the patient will only live 12 months.

That’s why eliminating asbestos from buildings quickly is important. People can unknowingly be exposed and then have their lives ruined as they get older because of companies that failed to take the steps to properly keep them safe.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey S Glassman provide representation of victims unlawfully exposed to asbestos who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston and throughout Massachusetts and New England. Call 1-877-617-5333 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Massachusetts School Contains Asbestos; School Will Replace Gym: July 30, 2011
Additional Resources:

School Committee Prepares For a Busy Year, by Lucille Cannava, North Reading Patch