Asbestos refers to a group of minerals that are naturally occurring and carcinogenic. They pose extremely harmful effects on the human body, and it is extremely important to protect yourself and others from being exposed to asbestos. Sadly, this substance is not banned in the United States, and continue to thrive in our living environment, our neighbourhood, daily commute, schools and workplaces. As children spend a lot of time in their schools, asbestos in schools should not be taken lightly.
A school that is built to provide a safe space for children to learn and grow with their peers can become a life-threatening cancer breeding ground for its students. Hence it is widely encouraged to conduct asbestos inspection and mediation in schools and other spaces we spend a lot of time in.
Understand the Danger
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared that about 170,000 primary and secondary schools are contaminated with asbestos containing substances and more than one-third of American students are studying in schools containing asbestos. As school buildings age, exposure to asbestos increases. As it is not banned in the United States, toys and crayons containing asbestos for young children to play are everywhere. Keep a mindful eye on every stationery, toy, and every other product your children come into close contact with, including those used in school.
Know The Rules and Your Rights
According to the federal law and the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), non-profit and public schools are required to protect all students and employees from the exposure of asbestos. However, as a result of lack of awareness and ineffective enforcement, students, teachers, and staff still fall victim to the exposure of asbestos, putting their health at risk. A research conducted by Edward Markey to find out how each state has been controlling the exposure to asbestos in schools was deeply disappointing and worrying – a vast majority of states are not doing what they are supposed to do to protect the people.
As a parent, guardian or relative, you have the right to ensure your child’s learning environment is safe. Snoop around and ask the school what they have been doing to tackle the presence of asbestos, and do not stop or give up till you get concrete information. As this threatens the life of your child and so many others, it is important to get a clear answer on the current asbestos situation of the school.
Spread The Word and Take Action
After awareness comes action. “The ABCs Of Asbestos In Schools” was issued by the EPA to help parents and teachers understand and control asbestos effectively. If your child’s school has a parent support group, consider raising this particular issue with them. There is nothing stronger than like-minded parents working to protect their children together.
As the common saying goes, “every cloud has a silver lining”, asbestos-caused illnesses are completely preventable. With the help of a professional service company, your children will be able to study in an asbestos-free environment. Contact Iris Environmental Laboratories for a consultation with our asbestos experts for assistance.