It’s been reported that over 200 individuals, including children aged five through ten, teachers, and administrative staff, were recently exposed to unacceptable levels of asbestos in a Binghamton, New York elementary school. Following a routine inspection in the school, officials discovered an area of potential asbestos disturbance in mid-July of this year. On July 30th, the existence of asbestos was confirmed at the Calvin Coolidge Elementary School; however, individuals remained in the school until they were informed of the problem on August 7th. More than 200 students, teachers and city employees were in the building between July 30 and Aug. 7 as part of a free, six-week summer enrichment program for children entering kindergarten up to fourth grade.
Officials at the school claim that they were following state guidelines that mandated the area with the asbestos disturbance to be sealed off, and surrounding areas tested for asbestos levels in the air. Following that protocol, students, teachers, and administrators remained in the building while tests were being conducted. Once the unacceptable asbestos levels were discovered throughout the school building, the personnel were informed and relocated to another school.
School officials defended their actions, stating that they went “above and beyond” what was required of them, and tested all areas of the school. In some parts of the building, asbestos levels were almost 30 structures per square millimeter over the acceptable level for asbestos hazards. The school board instituted an emergency closing of the school, allowing removal of the asbestos to proceed without the normal bidding process. Removal of asbestos is government regulated and must be conducted by a licensed asbestos abatement company. The abatement crew has started the cleanup process, and the students, who returned to school at alternate locations, are expected to be permitted back in the building by December.
Since the discovery of the carcinogenic properties of asbestos, medical experts have determined that any level of exposure to the mineral is a health risk. Though Binghamton school officials were following state mandated protocol, all those in the building during the testing period have been potentially exposed to asbestos fibers. School officials are awaiting word from health experts on how those exposed to the fibers should proceed.
The Philadelphia asbestos attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler have representing victims of asbestos exposure for over 30 years. We understand the devastation that victims incur with a diagnosis of mesothelioma or asbestosis. Medical bills, treatment cost, medications, rehabilitation, and lost wages can wreak havoc on a family’s financial health. Our dedicated and experienced asbestos attorneys have claimed justice for countless victims of asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, call Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler at 800-369-0899 or submit an online form to schedule an appointment. Our dedicated team of asbestos attorneys will work hard to ensure that you get the justice and compensation you deserve.