Asbestos tops a long list of structural problems faced by the New Jersey school district of Hamilton Township at every one of its schools, according to the regional website NJ.com.
Roughly half of the district’s 24 schools contain asbestos in their tiles or in the piping running through their classrooms and hallways, notes an article in the Trentonian.
Asbestos was used widely in school construction, due to its low cost, durability, and fire-proofing properties. But the inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause malignant mesothelioma, an incurable cancer.
In a report, the architecture firm of Fraytak Veisz Hopkins Duthie found that Hamilton’s schools have serious safety issues beyond the potential risks posed by asbestos. Of the 24 schools in the district, only three received A grades. Fourteen received B’s or C’s, five were given D’s, and there was one F.
Apparently, the low grades are the result of a policy of neglect that’s been in force since 2010. It was that year the school district was forced to slash its budget by $16 million, said the school board president Jeff Hewitson. “When you balance a budget and have to rob Peter to pay Paul, unfortunately facilities went by the wayside,” he told NJ.com.
The report calls for some big fix-ups — which could incur massive abatement costs, even before any improvements can take place. School renovations in older buildings need to be properly handled to avoid putting children and teachers at risk of asbestos exposure, as this blog recently noted.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by exposure to asbestos, you have rights. Contact Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation and to learn if an asbestos attorney can help you.