Asbestos in Schools News for February 4th, 2009

In DES MOINES, IA, parents were unaware of the removal of asbestos from Indian Hills Junior High because it occurred when students were away on holiday.
The asbestos found in the floor tile adhesive was removed over the 2008 Christmas break. All of the $52,000 asbestos removal efforts were scheduled during three major school holidays: Christmas 2008, spring break 2009, and the beginning of summer 2009. This allowed the work to be completed prior to construction and renovation work scheduled for the end of summer 2009. During the removal processes at the breaks, all students and staff were or will be barred from entering the building. In BURRILLVILLE, RI, on January 2, 2009, at Austin T. Levy School, a freeze burst a heating coil. This led to the discovery of asbestos in the glue holding down the floor tiles. The water was shortly shut off after the pipes burst, but the school had to be cleaned up. Vortex Company was contracted to take samples of the damaged tiles, and they found that while the floor tiles were free of asbestos, the adhesive for them was not.

The situation was assessed by an asbestos abatement company, Trust and Clean Care of New England, on January 6, 2009. They also tested the quality of the air at the school. Following safe handling and cleanup of the tile, the school will take several steps to remedy the damage without putting the health of the school’s students and staff at risk. During the February holiday for the students, the tile will be carpeted over to prevent any contamination of the air. Until then, air quality and mold testing continue. In CHESAPEAKE, VA, elevated levels of asbestos prompted the evacuation of a middle school. An air quality test at Crestwood Middle School done on January 6, 2008, found higher than normal amounts of asbestos in the air. This led to the immediate evacuation of the school and the cancellation of classes the following day. Students and staff returned to the school on January 8, 2009, after a clean report from air testing the previous day. The school had been undergoing construction work and maintenance on its heating and air conditioning system. Worker discovered asbestos covered pipes as they worked over the Christmas holiday. An investigation began to determine the source of the increased asbestos in the air. Results were still pending when the students went back to class on January 8, 2009.