IL – An Illinois school district (the North Shore District 112) had been fined 2 years back for various violations in connection with asbestos abatement projects at a number of its school buildings. The projects were done in year 2007. However, a teacher is seeking answers still.
Steve Bartel, a 5th grade teacher in a Lincoln School, recently approached the school board to ask whether it has cleared the asbestos violations occurred over past several years and to inform the staff as well as the public regarding what happened. She asked not to keep that quiet anymore.
Sherwood and Indian Trail schools were stopped in 2007 July as the IL Public Health Department found record-keeping and asbestos abatement violations. Work was allowed to restart after one month, and the school district maintains that testing on air quality has proved any one’s health wasn’t put at risk in any facilities of it.
Bartel is concerned that asbestos abatement work carried out a year back – in year 2006 – at several schools including Lincoln might have went unnoticed. Those school buildings were probably left dirty, as indicated by what occurred at Elm Place, Indian Trail and Sherwood schools, Bartel says.
However, the officials with the District 112 say that they are fully confident the project was carried out properly.
“There hasn’t been any issue where we are worried regarding anybody’s health being put at risk,” says Bruce Hyman, the President of the School Board.
Andi Rosen, the spokeswoman for the school district, says air quality tests have been carried out on all the school facilities after asbestos abatement, as required by law. He said those tests were conducted by another company – not the company that performed asbestos abatement.
“There wasn’t any indication of hazard. All the projects got clearance afterward. If they’d any worried regarding those works that would’ve been investigated before,” Rosen said.
She says the breaches came from an authorized subcontractor which was carrying out the job in year 2007 and the works in year 2006 were done by a different contractor.
“School districts do not take on such works with employees of their own. We rely on authorized contractors who have license to handle this type of work,” Rosen said.
Exposure to asbestos may cause serious respiratory problems later in life and, at times, it can cause terminal diseases including cancer.