If you happen to be a parent or educator, you would definitely be concerned about the welfare of your children. The fact is that children spend most of their time at school. During this period every day, their health is largely dependent on the quality of air that they breathe in at school. However, you might not know that they might be breathing in dangerous asbestos fibers in their classrooms and corridors. Asbestos refers to a group of 6 naturally occurring minerals that are characterized by their needle-like fibers which can become easily lodged in the lungs of our children. These fibers are also extremely harmful to our health as they have been shown to cause serious diseases like cancer and major respiratory illnesses. In the worst cases, it can also be fatal. This article will arm you with the necessary information regarding myths of asbestos in educational institutions. From here, you can decide whether or not you should hire a professional to carry out asbestos testing to protect the children.
Asbestos is a Thing of the Past
While it is true that asbestos is becoming more regulated as compared to the past, you have to bear in mind that it is still not illegal in the United States. In fact, it has been shown that many schools around the country have been affected by asbestos, where asbestos testing revealed the presence of asbestos fibers in the air. It might be scary to think about it, but the phenomenon is very much real. This is especially so if the facility was built before the year 1981. All it takes is for the asbestos containing material to be disturbed and the fibers can become airborne. Once the fibers become airborne, they can easily enter our airways and kill us slowly.
Asbestos Only Affects Construction Workers
Studies have shown that close to 15,000 Americans die from asbestos-causing health problems annually. School teachers are seen to be at great risk of dying from such problems. In a study carried out in the year 2007, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health discovered that elementary school teachers were almost at twice the risk of dying from a type of lung cancer called mesothelioma. It is essentially a cancer that is caused exclusively by asbestos poisoning. While there are great risks for construction workers, it cannot be denied that teachers are also in danger.
There are only Small Amounts of Asbestos in School
While asbestos might only occur in trace levels in educational institutions, research has shown that asbestos exposure is dangerous to people regardless of the level of exposure. Furthermore, even short amounts of exposure can lead to serious illnesses that manifest in your child’s body in later years. Bear in mind that kids are more vulnerable than adults. Chances are that they do not have as developed an immunity as us and might not be handle asbestos exposure.. Furthermore, given the nature of children, they are at greater risk of inhaling asbestos fibers because they are always playing around and inhaling allergens from the ground and air. They also breathe at a faster rate than adults, increasing the chances of asbestos exposure.