Asbestos found in Park Elementary school

An elementary school operating in Munhall has closed for the second time this week due to asbestos particles that were found in the roof.

Steel Valley, Pennsylvania  -Parents and teachers met with the asbestos supervisor for the Allegheny County Health Department, Don Horgan, and the Environmental Safety & Trainings firm director, Joseph Grad, at the Park Elementary school this week to discuss the eight test samples from the building’s roof. The quiet discussion soon turned into disruption and chaos when the parents learned that six of roof samples tested positive for asbestos. What truly outraged the parents was the fact that it took the district eight days to notify them of the contamination in the same location their children were living and breathing every day. Furthermore, the district did not contact the health department until September 11.

What is even more frightening is that Superintendent William Kinavey had reopened the school, after some test results came back negative. The secret though, is that the testing had only been conducted on two rooms and a hallway at Park Elementary School. Even though the Acting Board President Pam Terrick had instructed administrators to write a letter to Park parents on September 9, yet Dr. Kinavey refrained from sending the letters because he did not want to “panic” the community. This is because health department officials informed him that the “asbestos in the roofing material is not airborne and is highly unlikely to cause health problems.” This is true, but if the asbestos is disrupted at any point, its particles could infect the air and lodge themselves in the lining of the lungs of the children, and in the long run, this could cause serious health problems. School officials are uncertain as to how long the school will stay closed, but it is remain closed until the asbestos is removed. Tests will be re-taken to ensure parents and students that there is no asbestos in the air or any parts of the building.

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Jana Simard is a contributing writer for Justice News Flash with degrees in Political Science and Spanish. Born in Canada, but raised in sunny south Florida, Jana had an early passion for writing. During her high school and college years she interned at a Florida Congressman's office as well as a Rhode Island Governor and Senator's office. While in her last two years of college, Jana spent six months in Salamanca, Spain where she truly discovered her passion for writing and had her articles published in her school's newspaper. Her experience in two Providence high profile law firms has equipped her with the ability to write for Justice News Flash as a Legal Reporter.