November 14, 2008

Mineola Middle School, located on Long Island in Nassau County, New York, is reopening this week after the school was temporarily closed to remove asbestos from the roof of its technology and shop rooms.

The asbestos was initially found when construction workers began renovating a ventilation system used by the technology and shop rooms. The school district immediately notified the students’ parents about the issue after the discovery of the asbestos.

Following the discovery, regulations required Mineola Middle School to perform tests to determine whether any asbestos fibers had become airborne. Air quality tests found slightly elevated asbestos levels present in the area. To protect students and staff from further asbestos exposure, the school was closed during the asbestos abatement process.

Air quality tests performed after the asbestos was removed indicated that levels of airborne asbestos fibers were within acceptable limits. More asbestos is expected to be removed from ceilings in other classrooms at Mineola Middle School in the future.

Because asbestos was used to make thousands of different construction materials and consumer products between the 1930s and 1970s, almost every school constructed before 1980 contains asbestos. For example, schools may be insulated with asbestos insulation and older school equipment may contain asbestos. Additionally, school buildings may contain asbestos containing construction materials, such as floor and ceiling tiles, acoustical plaster, pipe insulation, and fireproofing materials.

Asbestos is only dangerous if its fibers are released into the air and inhaled. Typically, asbestos found in school equipment, insulation, and construction materials is non-friable, meaning it will not become airborne and dangerous unless cut, or broken. Therefore, the EPA advises schools to leave most asbestos containing materials undisturbed.

On the other hand, friable asbestos, or asbestos that is dry and can be easily crumbled, poses a significant risk to school children. Friable asbestos is extremely dangerous because, when it crumbles, it can release toxic asbestos fibers into the air. When these fibers are inhaled, they remain lodged in the body and can cause fatal diseases, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and various cancers.

School Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

If you or your child were exposed to asbestos at a school, you should immediately contact a medical professional. If you or a loved one has been injured by asbestos exposure, please contact us immediately as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Published November 17, 2011 by