In August we reported about the presence of unsafe levels of asbestos at Calvin Coolidge Elementary School in Binghamton, NY. Now, asbestos has been found in several other schools in Binghamton – Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School, West Middle School and Woodrow Wilson Elementary School.
According to an article in PressConnects.com, maintenance workers found asbestos-containing debris in a window track at Theodore Roosevelt when they pulled out a blind to repair the window. An asbestos abatement company is cleaning the area and removing the asbestos.
“The students were immediately moved to another classroom,” said Karry Mullins, Binghamton City School District Assistant Superintendent. She added that the space has been sealed and students will not return to the classroom until the air is clear.
Principal David Chilson sent a letter home to parents alerting them to the issue and informing them that the room will be cleaned according to state and federal protocols.
The federal government requires public and non-profit private schools to strictly adhere to requirements to protect school children and school employees from asbestos exposure. Specifically, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) and its regulations require public school districts and non-profit schools including charter schools and schools affiliated with religious institutions to: inspect their schools for asbestos-containing building material, and to prepare management plans and to take action to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards.
Parents of students at West Middle School and Woodrow Wilson Elementary School were sent a letter in early December reporting that samples of material from certain areas of the basement had tested positive for asbestos. The affected areas have been sealed, and authorities report no students came into contact with the asbestos. The asbestos was found during an inspection, and authorities report the asbestos has not been disturbed.
“(We’re) going back through every nook and cranny of the buildings looking for suspect material to ensure that we have found everything that needs to be addressed,” said Mullins when asked about actions being taken to prevent further risk to students and staff in Binghamton-area schools.
If you’ve been exposed to asbestos and have concerns on your health, our experienced attorneys for asbestos at Belluck & Fox, LLP can help you. Call or visit our law office in New York City today.