ERIC Number: ED253297
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Danger in the Classroom: The Continuing Problem of Asbestos in the Public Schools.
Lang, Robert D.
Asbestos in school buildings continues to threaten the future health of children. Because of prolonged exposure while their metabolism and activity levels are relatively high and their cellular development is relatively rapid, children and adolescents have a lifetime risk of developing asbestos-related diseases--such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and cancer of several organs--a risk that is greater than that of adults who work with asbestos. Few local educational authorities can pay for the expensive work needed to correct the problem, and federal financial aid is not available. The health hazard persists; in particular, compliance of New York State school districts with federal and state statutes addressing the problem remains low. Crucial deficiencies in existing legislation exist: the federal Hazard Detection and Control Act fails to mandate removal or encapsulation of hazardous materials, and New York's School Asbestos Act fails to provide adequate protection to individuals occupying school buildings not used as public schools. Current approaches to solving the asbestos problem are clearly inadequate, and alternative solutions must be formulated and pursued promptly. A first step would provide federal funding for asbestos inspection and mandatory removal. A total solution might be attained through combining the funding of mandatory measures with the Environmental Protection Agency's new and aggressive policy of proposing and imposing heavy fines on noncomplying school districts. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Asbestos School Hazard Detection and Control Act; Environmental Protection Agency; New York; School Asbestos Safety Act 1979 (New York)