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School takes proper precautions for asbestos

More often than not, an organization who improperly deals with asbestos makes the news. Typically, they have failed to notify residents or workers of the toxic substance or they did not remove the asbestos safely. In some cases, though, it is the efficiency and accuracy of a response that makes the news. In many situations, organizations want to prevent personal injury resulting from exposure to asbestos.

One such example of proper response was seen at Chiddix Junior High School recently. It was discovered that the school found small amounts of asbestos in 10 classrooms. Instead of hiding these results or taking shortcuts to remove the materials, school officials took action.

Not only were the 10 classrooms closed off while removal took place, but the entire school closed down for the rest of the year. The entire location was then cleaned after the asbestos was removed.

It should be noted here that the risk of asbestos exposure was likely not dangerous. Based on expert statements, the amount was small and the exposure was intermittent at most. Public health officials have said that even though it will be difficult to determine exact exposure levels, it was likely very limited. Even in the case of teachers and faculty at the school, contact with the substance was extremely small.

However, because the effects of prolonged and close contact with asbestos are so serious, it is important that proper safety precautions be taken when any level of asbestos is found. Even though the risk may have been small in this case, it is a lesson to be learned that all amounts of asbestos can be removed safely and immediately. When this is not done, people can get very sick.

Source: Pantagraph, "Doctor: Chiddix asbestos poses minimal health risk," Paul Swiech, March 1, 2012

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