Cincinnati, Ohio Toxic Exposure Attorney reviewing school asbestos and teacher cancer lawsuits for plaintiffs nationwide
Around half of all schools in the United States were built between 1950 and 1970, a time when asbestos was commonly used in construction materials like roofing, siding, insulation, soundproofing, floor tiles and ceiling tiles. Much of the asbestos that was installed in school buildings remains to this day.
Consumer safety advocates and toxic tort attorneys have expressed concern over school building asbestos exposure, and the cancer risks that may exist at the workplace for many teachers and school staff. As time goes on, the asbestos materials naturally break down, and may present a serious cancer risk for those in some school buildings.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), undisturbed asbestos materials generally do not pose a health risk. But when toxic materials are disturbed during maintenance operations or renovations, student and teachers may be exposed to school asbestos materials.
Asbestos materials were used for their superior durability and fire-resistant properties, but they will eventually deteriorate and breathable asbestos fibers release into the air and can be inhaled by school building occupants. Thus many of Ohio schools must be inspected for asbestos risks, as well as mold and lead paint.
Students and teachers can be at an elevated lung cancer risk if they work or learn in a school environment contaminated with toxins. Young, developing students may be at a higher risk, and cancer cases have been documented by toxicologists.
Students and teachers who have been exposed to asbestos should see their doctor right away, as even brief, acute exposures to asbestos could lead to asbestos-related conditions like asbestosis, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis and mesothelioma.
By Ohio law, all public and non-profit private primary and secondary schools must be inspected for asbestos every three years, and asbestos management plans are required. The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) is now in place to help school authorities account for asbestos containing materials properly.
The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), passed in 1986, requires public school districts and non-profit private schools to inspect schools to reduce toxic hazards from any asbestos-containing materials in school buildings.
If asbestos is found in buildings, a plan is meant to provide some options on how to deal with it. The materials can be removed, or sealed. Undamaged asbestos usually poses few health risk to teachers and students, but the condition of the materials can change quickly.
If the asbestos materials are in good condition, schools will generally elect not to disturb them. Maintenance staff will often be tasked with repairing damaged pipes, tiles or flooring covered in asbestos insulation.
Materials in schools that often contain asbestos include:
In Philadelphia this year, a teacher has filed a lawsuit against the School District of Philadelphia after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, allegedly due to school asbestos exposure. The woman says she worked at two buildings with documented asbestos issues.
Plaintiffs say that if the woman was exposed to asbestos in the buildings in which she taught, it would be considered a causative factor in her cancer development. Many teachers are unaware of such health risks at the workplace. If schools fail to warn employees of the risks, and they are exposed to toxins, rightful compensation may be necessary.
If you or a loved one has worked in a school building with asbestos and have been diagnosed with lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, adenocarcinoma, mesothelioma of another lung disease, contact The Lyon Firm for a free consultation at 800.513.2403.
The Lyon Firm works with industry experts to determine the root cause of illnesses and occupational lung diseases. Settlements are likely following toxic asbestos exposure at the workplace.