Asbestos was used for decades as one of the most popular building materials for construction projects across the nation, and inspectors are still discovering its presence in new locations every year. Despite our growing knowledge about the deadly effects of asbestos, countless buildings, including at least 13 in Findlay City Schools located in Findlay, OH, still contain the cancer-causing material.
“It doesn’t pose a major health issue or problem in the school system,” said Findlay City Schools’ director of operations Dennis McPheron. “We have removed it, identified what’s left, and monitor it.”
According to the 2013 management plan and inspection report, at least 13 different district buildings contained, or were suspected of containing asbestos. According to McPheron, the asbestos was discovered on boiler plates, wrapped around old pipes, and under floor tiles among other locations. McPheron is correct in his assessment that, as long as the asbestos remains undisturbed, it shouldn’t pose an issue. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
“Asbestos that is in good condition and left undisturbed is unlikely to present a health risk. The risks from asbestos occur when it is damaged or disturbed where asbestos fibers become airborne and can be inhaled. Managing asbestos in place and maintaining it in good repair is often the best approach.”
The danger comes when the asbestos particles become airborne – anyone who inhales them is at risk of having them lodge in their lung’s tissue, a known cause of mesothelioma. While McPheron reported that the majority of the asbestos was removed in the 1980’s, a recently approved installation could put people at risk of inhaling those cancerous airborne particles.
The Findlay City Schools board recently approved of the installation of a device known as The Boot, a rectangular steel plate with two steel pegs that is mounted on the bottom of a door that can be used to prevent entry during an emergency situation. In order for the device to work, two holes need to be drilled in the floor for the steel pegs in The Boot to lower down into.
Given the suspected presence of asbestos underneath the floor tiles, there is a clear risk of asbestos fibers filling the air. However, McPheron isn’t concerned of that chance.
“There’s not much they’re going to get into,” he said. “We wouldn’t have to close down the room or building [when drilling].”
According to the 2013 report, it would cost approximately $663,300 to remove all trace of asbestos from all 13 buildings. The district inspects their buildings every three years, and are set to conduct this year’s inspection sometime in November. Once it is complete, the school board will re-evaluate their decision of whether or not to remove the asbestos present in the 13 Findlay City Schools.
It takes decades for symptoms of mesothelioma to present themselves, which can make it incredibly difficult to identify where you were first exposed to asbestos. At Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC, our mesothelioma attorneys have dedicated their careers to fighting for the rights of victims in order to secure them the compensation they deserve, and work with a team of experts to identify the source of your cancer. If you or someone you love are suffering from mesothelioma, give us a call at (888) 367-7160 or fill out our online form to give us the details of your case.