According to a recent news article from the Cape Cod Times, a meeting was recently held that more than 100 parents attended. The topic of this meeting was what about the more than 300 students who cannot return to the Teaticket Elementary School where they are registered. The reason they cannot go to their normal school is because it is closed due to asbestos hazards.
As is the case with many of the schools on the Cape and in the greater Boston area, this one was built at a time when asbestos was heavily used. Asbestos has the natural ability to resist heat, fire, caustic chemicals, and electricity, but it also has the ability to work as a chemical binding agent. This ability to work as a chemical binding agent means that it is good to be used in epoxies, glues, and other joint compounds such as drywall cement. It is not flammable and the joint would break down due to exposure to normal conditions in the short term. It will eventually break down over time, and that is where the problem starts.
Asbestos used in tiles and tile adhesives was very dangerous to those at the factories that were making the products. It was also dangerous to the construction workers who were installing the products. As our Boston asbestos exposure attorneys have seen in far too many cases, like any drywall compound, those containing asbestos would become dusty when first dried, and workers would inhale that dust. This dust contained deadly asbestos fibers. Once inhaled, they became embedded in the lungs or other organ tissue and metastasized into malignant mesothelioma over a period of 20 to 50 years.
Once installed, it was generally safe, as the asbestos was encased behind the wall or tiles. However, after many years, and a lack of general upkeep, the construction materials will start to break down. This can also happen when other renovation work is being performed. At this point they become very dangerous once again, because they are emitting deadly asbestos fibers.
At the school the Boston area, they were working on another renovation project when ceiling tiles that were made of asbestos and backed with asbestos were disturbed. Once this was discovered, school officials and building inspectors became concerned that the children could become exposed to asbestos should they be allowed back in the school. They are not sure how much asbestos was released into the air, but these days there is no reason to take any chances with the health and safety of elementary school students in terms of asbestos exposure, which can be deadly. While those who are exposed to asbestos and develop malignant mesothelioma are normally older, this is due to the fact that it mostly effects workers and would take up to five decades for the cancer to fully develop. However, in the case of children who are exposed, we are seeing much younger victims, as they are becoming sick in their early 30s. This is unimaginably horrific, since they may only have a year or so left to live following diagnosis.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Parents support Falmouth plans to deal with asbestos fallout, August 25, 2016, By Ethan Genter, Cape Cod Times
More Blog Entries:
Rondon v. Hennessy Industries, Inc. – “Inevitable Use” Standard in Asbestos Litigation, July 2, 2016, Boston Mesothelioma Attorney Blog