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.
How do you identify and prevent possible asbestos poisoning in your schools, workplace and home?
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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.
The Wall Street Journal spent a year with Texas surgeon and veteran Brian McQueen as his health deteriorated from mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure.