School in Illinois Reopens After Cleaning Up Asbestos
According to an ABC News report, a middle school in Illinois sufficiently cleared away its mold and asbestos and resumed classes after being closed for more than two weeks. Hinsdale Middle School initially closed on January 6 when workers treating water damage disassembled risers in the music room and discovered broken tiles containing asbestos. School board president Marty Turek acknowledged the alarm that accompanies any mention of the word asbestos in a school setting, but the Integrity Environmental Services found only small amounts of asbestos. The school district sent a letter to the community to assure all those concerned that the amount was small enough that students, faculty, and staff were not likely to be exposed to it, according to an article by the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.
The closure forced students and staff to use classrooms at nearby Clarendon Hills Middle School. The displaced students shared the facilities with normal students at the school, although only attending for a shortened school day of 4 ½ hours with no lunch time. The school board also considered relocating students to National Louis University in Lisle as an alternative, although it would cost the school $140 per classroom per day. Hinsdale Middle School finally reopened on February 4 after workers cleaned each room approximately four times and replaced the drywall and flooring. However, the superintendent admitted that there are other long-term building issues that need attention in the near future, such as a roof past its prime and several leaky areas. In the meantime, the school will remain open and students will keep attending classes.
Exposure to Asbestos
While the staff and students of Hinsdale Middle School likely avoided any exposure to asbestos, others are not always so lucky. Asbestos exposure can lead to various health implications, the most serious being mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, and is commonly developed by people who work in jobs where they inhale large amounts of asbestos fibers. Mesothelioma differs from lung cancer because there is no apparent correlation between mesothelioma and tobacco smoking.
There is also a risk of secondary asbestos exposure because asbestos fibers can attach to the clothing, skin, hair, and shoes of workers and come into contact with spouses and children. Diagnosing mesothelioma stemming from an asbestos exposure can be difficult because symptoms may not develop for 15 to 20 years after the time of exposure. Some of the symptoms include persistent coughing, shortness of breath, and inordinate fatigue. Each illness in isolation appears to be very minor, but in combination can be indicative of early symptoms of mesothelioma.
If you have been exposed to asbestos, you should seek medical care immediately as soon as you develop any of these symptoms. Detecting mesothelioma earlier can make treatment much easier and more manageable.
If you believe that your asbestos exposure occurred on the job, you may be eligible to receive compensation to assist with your medical bills. Contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer today for a consultation.