When Was the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act Passed?
The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, or AHERA, passed in 1986, required school districts to identify asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in educational buildings and take action to control the release and consumption of asbestos fibers. Nearly one-third of schools in the United States may contain asbestos. This carcinogen affects millions of students, teachers, and other staff, putting occupants at risk of developing asbestos-related health issues. Understanding AHERA and what it means for individuals in the health and legal field is essential to both safety and compliance.
The act’s primary concern was to ensure the safety of students and teachers while reducing potential asbestos exposure. When policymakers enacted AHERA, people began to realize the health-related dangers of asbestos exposure. Experts have linked lung issues such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer to the inhalation of asbestos fibers. AHERA was created to help guide inspections, initiate response actions, and encourage long-term management plans for organizations that might be at risk of asbestos-related exposure dangers.
Understanding EPA AHERA Regulations
Under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), AHERA requires local education agencies to inspect their school buildings for asbestos-containing material, prepare asbestos management plans, and perform asbestos response actions to prevent and reduce the material’s hazards. Both public school districts and non-profit private schools are subject to the act’s regulations. If identified, certified professionals must remove asbestos using approved methods to minimize the risk of exposure. Additionally, a reinspection must occur every three years if health experts identify asbestos in a school building. Emergency asbestos testing is another way to adhere to AHERA and protect the educational community. School administrators, health experts, and safety professionals must work together to ensure the safety of occupants and compliance of schools with AHERA.
The importance of adhering to these rules cannot be understated. The protection and safety of students and teachers when going to school should be guaranteed to the highest extent possible. The act requiring schools to comply with asbestos regulations also prevents the districts from battling legal issues such as claims or lawsuits in the future if occupants develop health issues from exposure.
Asbestos in School Buildings: Compliance and Risk Mitigation
AHERA was created to protect students, teachers, and staff from school asbestos exposure. The risks posed to occupants when exposed are detrimental – including the potential of developing mesothelioma, a cancer without a cure that develops due to asbestos becoming lodged in the lining of the lungs. Schools must take every preventive step possible to mitigate the risk of asbestos exposure to building occupants. Health and safety professionals can ensure that schools properly comply with AHERA regulations and facilitate successful asbestos removal in schools.
Compliance steps such as asbestos inspection, management plans, and effective communication can help raise awareness and ensure safety. AHERA requires these plans to document recommended asbestos response actions, the location of any asbestos in the school, and action taken to repair or remove the material. AHERA regulations require both public and non-profit school districts to perform an original inspection to determine if asbestos is present and then re-inspect any asbestos material at least every three years. The school must also develop, maintain, and update an asbestos management plan. Under AHERA, a contact person is designated to ensure the school appropriately implements the act’s regulations. The EPA is responsible for enforcing AHERA. Compliance with AHERA regulations ensures the safety and protection of building occupants.
AHERA is still relevant, especially following a recent string of asbestos-related incidents in schools. A public school in New Jersey suffered a partial ceiling collapse, triggering a 16-week asbestos cleanup plan. A recent study in Cape Coral, Florida, revealed potential asbestos exposure risks in four different charter schools, causing concern in the community. Philadelphia schools are also struggling with significant disruptions due to ongoing asbestos cleanup efforts, which have impacted the return to school for many students.
How Does AHERA Affect Me, and Can I Seek Compensation?
AHERA plays a crucial role in protecting public health and safety by regulating asbestos in schools. If you believe you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos from a school building, you might be eligible to seek compensation. AHERA grants you legal rights, and you could be entitled to seek financial aid for any suffering you endure due to asbestos exposure. Compensation is available via AHERA as it is the school’s responsibility to protect its occupants. You may be eligible to file a mesothelioma claim if a school does not adequately protect its patrons. The average settlement for asbestos exposure is between 1 and 1.4 million dollars. Therefore, an experienced asbestos attorney can help you navigate this complex legal process and determine whether you have a case.
Mesothelioma Hub is dedicated to providing resources and assistance to those seeking legal help regarding asbestos exposure. Our team can help connect you with legal expertise and treatment options if you are suffering from asbestos-related diseases. Don’t hesitate to reach out and get the help you deserve!
Last updated on November 28th, 2023 at 05:15 pm