Asbestos: Lethal and Still a Threat to All Americans

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Asbestos is found in thousands of U.S. schools. Learn more.

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Two years ago, the Ocean View School District in Orange County, California, was forced to close multiple schools and bus 1,600 students to temporary classrooms when asbestos was discovered during a modernization project. The cost of the asbestos abatement project, combined with the cost of bussing students to other schools, as well as lost state revenue due to parents who pulled their children out of the district, topped $15 million.

Asbestos remains a widespread hazard. Nearly all U.S. schools built between the 1940s and the 1970s contain asbestos. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), any building constructed before 1981 is presumed to contain asbestos.

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125 million
The World Health Organization estimates that about 125 million people worldwide areexposed to asbestos at work.
According to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), 15,000 U.S. citizens die from asbestos-related diseases each year.
8 million
More than eight million pounds of asbestos has been imported into the United States over the last decade.

Asbestos Industry Still Alive and Well

Even though asbestos is banned in 59 countries, 2 million pounds of the toxic substance is still exported every year. View video.

Three Schools in One District Test Positive for Asbestos Exposure

Three schools in Huntington Beach, California, were shut down for high levels of exposure, putting 1,600 students at risk and without a school to attend. View video.

One Man’s Fight With Mesothelioma

The Wall Street Journal spent a year with Texas surgeon and veteran Brian McQueen as his health deteriorated from mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure.  
View video.

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