Even in this day and age when the prevalence of asbestos is a known cause of mesothelioma cancer, you may be surprised that asbestos is still being found in schools around the world.
According to an article in the Adelaide Now, the South Australian government has recently come under siege for failure to inspect schools and/or keeping false records of asbestos inspections. Asbestos can be found in a wide range of building materials used up until the 1980s including spray on ceiling materials, shingles, insulation, drywall joint compounds, textures paints to name a few. Asbestos in schools can be particularly dangerous since mesothelioma can take up to 60 years to develop after exposure.
Asbestos Legislation in the United States for Schools
In 1986 Congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) which includes any public school, private schools and nonprofit schools in the US. This states that every school must be inspected for asbestos every three years.
If you have questions about asbestos in your child’s school, you should be able to contact the school and request the records of their last inspection. These records are public knowledge and should be available. AHERA also states that there must be a contact person that oversees the inspection done in the school. Contact this person directly with questions.