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Philadelphia City Council Approves More Asbestos Testing for Schools

Bill Mandates Additional Asbestos Inspections for School Buildings

The Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring additional regulations for inspecting asbestos and other hazards in school buildings. Asbestos can deteriorate over time, causing small fibers to be released into the air. This places students, teachers and other administrators at risk of inhaling dangerous fibers and potentially developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.

The new regulations require one third of Philadelphia schools to be inspected each year, with official certificates released ahead of each upcoming school year. Inspection results are then required to be released to the public within 10 days.

School District of Philadelphia Opposes Ordinance

While this ordinance may seem like a wise additional layer of protection, The School District of Philadelphia believes that the reliance on non-experts will subvert the safety goals this ordinance is intended to address. Instead, members of the School District of Philadelphia Board of Education urge city officials to work with them within the existing, comprehensive and detailed framework of city and federal regulations.

The Board of Education states that the changes caused by the ordinance will delay existing efforts to ensure every building in the District is safe and welcoming for all school students and faculty. Elected officials, parents and the public are encouraged to acknowledge the resource challenges the area faces as one of the oldest, largest and historically underfunded school districts in the United States.

History of Asbestos Exposure in Philadelphia Schools

The crisis surrounding asbestos contamination in Philadelphia schools started in 2019 when several schools temporarily closed due to dangerous levels of exposure. Teachers filed complaints about the hazardous conditions and many were later diagnosed with mesothelioma the following year.

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers eventually filed a lawsuit against the school district, stating that they didn’t perform adequate asbestos testing and in turn, were negligent to the threat of asbestos. This led to at least seven schools being closed due to asbestos concerns.

How Are Philadelphia Schools Inspected for Asbestos?

Asbestos is frequently found in construction products that were used in the production of nearly half of all school buildings in the United States when asbestos use was at its peak. As a result, millions of students and faculty experienced exposure to asbestos.

There is no safe level of asbestos exposure, but the School District of Philadelphia has regulations in place that are in compliance with federal law Currently, the District conducts surveillance inspections of asbestos-containing materials in its buildings every six months, as well as comprehensive inspections every three years.

Complications Caused by Asbestos

Mesothelioma is a serious form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs and other organs most often from asbestos exposure. Professionals may not know everything about mesothelioma and the effects of asbestos, but they’re aware of a lot misconceiving information surrounding the issue and are striving to decrease cases.

Since mesothelioma is rare, most doctors don’t have extensive experience in testing the illness. This is why medical centers that focus on mesothelioma treatment programs offer specialized care from experienced medical teams. Mesothelioma medical centers are home to the discovery and development of some of the most advanced life-extending treatment techniques.

How to get in Contact with a Philadelphia Asbestos Lawyer

Exposure to asbestos can cause a variety of complications. If you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing issues, a qualified asbestos lawyer will help you get started with the legal process. To find the right lawyer for your unique case, request an absolutely free case evaluation today to be connected with a specialist.

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