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Teachers refuse to return to school citing asbestos fears

Imagine learning that not one but four of your co-workers have passed away from similar diseases. This would likely lead many people to be fearful that there is some sort of danger threatening others who share the same work space. In many cases, this is proven to be the case when asbestos is discovered inside a building.

Recently, teachers who worked in an annex next to a school came face-to-face with this very situation. They learned that five former teachers at the school had been diagnosed with cancer. Not surprisingly, current teachers were fearful for their own safety; especially after asbestos was found in the tiling in the annex school floor.

The building has been in place for about 60 years. During that time, teachers and students walked across the asbestos-containing tiles on the floor just about every day. As the years went on, the floor and building began to deteriorate raising concerns that the asbestos was being disturbed and released into the air. 

After learning about the presence of asbestos in the building, many people refused to go back into the building. The school was shut down due to the extent of the health concerns that people had, and people realized that they may have been putting the lives of teachers and children in danger if they kept the school open without properly removing the asbestos. 

It is no secret that asbestos was commonly used in many different types of building materials for many years. However, property owners now have a responsibility to alert people who live or work in the building if there is asbestos on the premises. They may also be responsible for making sure the asbestos is removed and disposed of in a safe and lawful manner so that others do not suffer from toxic exposure to the fiber. 

Source: The Marshall Democrat-News, "Teacher: 'they are terrified to go back there' Marshall School Board votes to shut down BMS annex due to health concerns," Carlos Restrepo, June 25, 2013

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