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Oklahoma Schoolchildren, Workers to be Protected from Asbestos

Asbestos in Schools

Asbestos in Schools

It’s natural for any society to be concerned about the safety and health of its children, but throughout the United States that focus is particularly concentrated on the learning environment. One of these concerns is specifically focused on the presence of asbestos in schools.  This is necessary because the vast majority of school buildings in this country were built before 1980, which is when it became widely known that asbestos is a powerful carcinogen. Up until that point, ceiling and floor tiles and building insulation contained the toxic material, and in many it is starting to break down into what is known as a friable condition.

When asbestos becomes friable, it poses serious health risks to all those who come into contact with it — it can be inhaled or ingested. This means that students, teachers and school employees are all vulnerable, and need to be protected. That is the purpose of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), a bill that requires local education agencies to constantly monitor schools for the presence of asbestos and to come up with plans to mitigate the dangers that it poses. The state of Oklahoma’s compliance with this rule just got a big boost from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has awarded the state’s Department of Labor over $200,000 to help them in their efforts.

The $202,970 grant will be used to allow the Department of Labor to set up on-site surveillance in every building where the presence of asbestos is confirmed. All of those employees who are tasked with asbestos mitigation will receive special training and certification. Further, whenever asbestos is discovered all those who could conceivably come into contact will receive notification that it is present and what will be done about it — this means that parents will be notified as well as employees. Though the rules do not require that asbestos be removed, a management plan must be in place if it is determined to be a danger.

These types of actions are both a reflection of the level of responsibility that society feels for the safety of our child and an indication of how aware we have become of the dangers of asbestos exposure. Asbestos is the single cause of mesothelioma, a rare and dangerous form of cancer, as well as asbestosis, lung cancer, and many other illnesses. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with asbestos, there is a strong possibility that it was because somebody did not take the kind of responsibility being shown by the EPA and the Oklahoma schools, and may have been negligent. To discuss your case and see whether your rights have been violated, contact the attorneys at Danziger & De Llano today – you may be entitled to compensation to help you with your medical bills and other expenses.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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