Asbestos laws mandate strict protocol when dealing with asbestos in schools, public buildings and commercial structures. The toxic mineral identified the sole cause of mesothelioma was used extensively in construction and industrial businesses during the period of 1940 through 1980. Because of this, public and commercial buildings, including schools still have asbestos-containing products within their structures today, posing a potential risk to all who occupy these buildings. As these buildings age and repairs become necessary, exposure to the carcinogenic asbestos fibers continues to be a major health threat.
When dealing with asbestos management and removal in schools and public buildings, the potential exposure becomes a critical concern. Asbestos is considered safe if it is undisturbed, but once the fibers become airborne and inhaled into the lungs, they imbed deep within the lung tissue. These fibers can lay dormant for a period of up to 50 years before individuals develop mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. In response to this risk, the EPA enforces law and regulations that mandate a strict protocol when dealing with asbestos in schools, public, and commercial buildings. With proper management, removal, and disposal of asbestos, the public can be protected against exposure to this deadly toxin.
In response to a mandate from the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) to regulate asbestos in schools, the Environmental Protection Agency introduced the Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools rule. In short, this regulation requires schools to take an active role in identifying potential risks of asbestos exposure to elementary, middle and high school students and school personnel. Specifically, schools must inspect their buildings on a regular schedule to identify potential risk areas in their buildings. The school administration is also responsible for providing parents and employees with a carefully designed plan for dealing with asbestos in the schools, providing safe-handling training to maintenance workers, and maintaining a detailed emergency response plan in the event the asbestos becomes a threat to students or staff. Read our recent blog about uncontained asbestos found in a school.
The Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act (ASHARA) and the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos (NESHAP) was enacted in 1990 and further mandated that anyone working with the management, removal or disposal of asbestos in schools must be officially accredited. The accredited personnel are expected to be knowledgeable in limiting the exposure to asbestos fibers as work or demolition of schools or buildings is performed.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) along with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) work to provide public information on asbestos risks and safe handling procedures. These agencies focus on regulating asbestos exposure in the workplace. They provide training and informational materials to reduce the potential risks of exposure to asbestos.
The Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler are dedicated to fighting for victims of asbestos exposure suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia, the Philadelphia asbestos law firm of Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler serves clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call our asbestos attorneys at 215-268-7339 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to review the details of your case.