What Can We Do About Asbestos In Schools?

Asbestos is a natural mineral fiber that used to be widely used in the construction materials of buildings because of its insulating properties and resistance to fire. Even though removal is approved in schools, many of them choose to let it remain and simply manage it instead. If it remains undisturbed, it does not release any harmful toxins and cause any health risks. However, once damaged, these materials will release harmful particles into the air that can cause lung conditions, such as cancer, abestosis, or mesothelioma, and damage to other vital organs. There are many building materials that contain this toxic substance, including ones used to complete roofing, flooring, fire proofing, insulation, ceilings, and many others items. What Is EPA Doing To Keep Children Safe? Schools are required to follow a strict guideline for management and monitoring when asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are present within the building.

These guidelines enforce the staff to recognize, monitor, manage, and contain these ACMs as necessary to keep children and staff safe at all times. Brisbane asbestos removal is usually not necessary unless the ACM becomes damaged or if the property will be disturbed by a renovation or demolition project, which releases the dangerous fibers into the air. What Is The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)? The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) was established in 1986 and requires all schools to conduct inspections for ACM and when found, to prepare a management system to prevent or reduce exposure. All public school districts are required to adhere to AHERA’s guidelines, which also includes charter schools as well as any religious institutions. The EPA also sends out important information to teachers and parents about the requirements as AHERA guidelines indicate.

How Do Schools Comply With AHERA? AHERA requires that schools follow the listed guidelines: Provide all staff with awareness training Perform an initial inspection plus re-inspections every 3 years of ACM Provide yearly notifications to teachers, parents, and employees about the management of ACM and any abatement actions planned or taken Ensure properly trained inspectors test regularly Designate an individual to ensure guidelines are properly followed Develop, update, and maintain a management plan for ACM Perform periodic testing of ACM How Can Administrators Ensure Student Safety? In addition to adhering to the AHERA guidelines, it is also the administrator’s job to comply with the Asbestos National Emissions Standard For Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), which requires that schools notify the appropriate authorities before renovating or demolishing an ACM property. Only licensed professionals must dispose of all ACM within required guidelines.

Schools are required to have an inspector come out and take a sample of any supposed ACM to test for cancer-causing substances. If they determine that the sample has hazardous toxins within it, a specialized management plan is put into place. If there is any debris or dust present from damaged ACM, an eradication plan will be put into place. If no damage occurs, then a containment system will take effect. Eradication is the most expensive method, while a more cost-effective way might be to contain the problem area if applicable and manageable. Analysis kits help inspectors properly find ACM on the location without the need to send the collected substance back to the lab for thorough testing.