Students displaced from their elementary school in Binghamton, New York, after airborne asbestos was discovered may soon be reunited.
According to the news website PressConnects, school board officials have indicated that the asbestos cleanup at Calvin Coolidge Elementary School is proceeding on schedule. “We’re hoping, by the next board meeting, we’ll have a move-in date,” said Karry Mullins, assistant superintendent for administration. The next school board meeting is scheduled for November 19th, and school officials hope to return to the building in December.
Workers discovered asbestos in the school building in August during a routine inspection. Asbestos was commonly used in construction materials prior to the 1980s. When materials containing asbestos deteriorate or are disturbed in some way, microscopic fibers are released into the air and can be inhaled by anyone nearby.
Repeated exposure to asbestos fibers has been linked to a number of major health problems including mesothelioma, a deadly and aggressive form of cancer.
Tests at the school following the discovery revealed unsafe levels of airborne asbestos in almost every part of the building, which meant a summer academic program had to be relocated. When the school year began, kindergarteners were sent to one elementary school in the district, first graders to another, second through fourth graders to an administrative building, and fifth graders to a middle school. Students, faculty and staff are understandably eager for the disruption to end and to get back into their building.
Once asbestos is discovered, federal and New York state laws are strict concerning its removal, particularly when a school building is involved. A credentialed asbestos abatement company must be hired, and the asbestos contained, removed, and disposed of safely.
At the Coolidge School, workers separated the building into three parts before beginning to remove asbestos. The first section is now free of asbestos, and new carpets and ceiling tile are being installed. Cleanup work in the remainder of the school is ongoing.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may want to explore your legal options. Contact Sokolove Law today to learn more about your legal rights, which may include filing an asbestos lawsuit.