When we send our young children to preschool each day, there are a lot of things about which we as parents worry. We are concerned our child may get hurt in an accident or fall. We worry they won’t get along with the other children, or that there could be fight.
But in this day and age, we generally don’t worry our child will come into direct contact with deadly asbestos dust. Unfortunately, according to a recent news article from Arlington Now, even this can happen.
School officials in charge recently sent a letter to all parents of children who attend a certain daycare facility, telling them they have confirmed the presence of asbestos dust in the school.
Aerosolized asbestos dust is can be the most dangerous form of asbestos exposure, depending on the quantity of asbestos particles in the air.
School officials immediately closed the facility and told parents they are looking for a suitable temporary site to run the daycare while the asbestos abatement work can be performed by a licensed asbestos removal contractor.
As our Boston asbestos exposure attorneys can explain, asbestos was commonly used in floor tiles and other flooring materials, such as linoleum, during much of the last century. It was also used in the glues and cements designed to installing flooring material. The reason asbestos was so common in the construction industry was because of its cheap cost to mine and manufacture into building materials, as well as its natural resistance to heat, fire, caustic chemicals, and electricity.
Under normal circumstances, once an asbestos floor is set, it is not dangerous to residents or other occupants in the building, as long as the flooring material is in good condition. Once it starts to deteriorate and crumble, asbestos becomes friable and is very dangerous, as it can constantly be emitting toxic dust.
In the case of this now-closed preschool, a group of volunteers were cleaning up the preschool when they began ripping up flooring, which is when the dust was released into the air. Families say the situation became chaotic when they figured out what had happened at their school. School officials were concerned about asbestos exposure and immediately hired a certified asbestos testing firm to perform an inspection. They collected samples of the tile and of the ambient air, and both resulted in positive tests for the presence of asbestos dust. Parents are left worrying about the health and safety of their children and are also left in a bind, as there are more than 100 children without a preschool to attend. Parents are also worried the church running the school does not have enough money in its budget for a professional asbestos remediation process.
There is no doubt asbestos abatement (removal) is a costly undertaking. Once an inspection has been completed and the inspectors get lab results from a materials testing facility, the next step is to create an asbestos abatement plan and submit it to the local environmental protection agency and building department, along with an application for asbestos abatement permits. At this point, the work can begin under the supervision of a certified asbestos removal contractor using trained and certified workers, who must wear proper protective equipment.
Nonetheless, it is a necessary step that must be taken in order to ensure the safety of the public – especially when it comes to places frequented by children.
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