Mesothelioma News: Philadelphia Students Moved After Asbestos Scare at School
05/06/2011 // Chicago, IL, USA // Mesothelioma Lawyers – Cooney & Conway // Cooney & Conway
Philadelphia, PA (Mesothelioma News) – After tests revealed high levels of asbestos at a Philadelphia elementary school, students were moved to another building two blocks away—where they will stay until further testing is complete and school officials decide what to do next.
The tests, conducted on April 22, were performed as part of routine testing at a school annex in Pilgrim Baptist Church in the Crescentville section of Philadelphia. School officials say it was the first time abnormally high levels of the cancer-causing material were detected.
Benjamin Franklin Elementary School began using the church space as an annex in 2003 and conducted asbestos testing every six months. The April 22 testing was performed by the city’s Office of Environmental Management and Services and the Health and Welfare Fund of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
Asbestos has been scientifically linked to deadly diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma, an incurable cancer that strikes the protective tissue lining many of the body’s organs. The material has long been used in flooring, insulation, ceilings and pipes due to its resistance to heat and fire.
Even though the dangers of asbestos have been known for years, many older structures—including schools—still contain the material. Asbestos in schools is particularly worrisome due to the long period between asbestos exposure and asbestos-related diseases. Children who inhale asbestos fibers can be struck down by mesothelioma lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases decades later when they are in the prime of life.
A diagnosis of mesothelioma is particularly grim. It is an aggressive cancer, often spreading throughout the body, and even the most powerful treatments typically extend a patient’s life by just a matter of months. Indeed, very few mesothelioma victims are still alive five years after detection of the disease.
Compounding the tragedy, mesothelioma—which is almost always caused by asbestos exposure—is preventable. Safety guidelines and precautions have been established by both federal and state agencies. But following them can be costly in terms of time and money, and many property owners, employers and developers have cut corners—putting the public at risk in the process.
Over the years, mesothelioma lawyers have been successful in obtaining large settlements and verdicts for victims of asbestos exposure, but once the dangerous particles have lodged in the lungs, any harm that results is irreversible. Mesothelioma has no known cure.
Since abnormally high asbestos levels were found at the school annex, environmental officials have conducted additional, more extensive testing. The results of those tests are pending. Until they are known, the school annex will remain closed—and the children will remain at a safe distance.
*This news story was brought to you by the mesothelioma lawyers at Cooney & Conway. For more than half a century, we have been advocates for those injured due to the wrongful actions of others. We have litigated and resolved some of the nation’s most significant asbestos lawsuits, bringing justice—and financial compensation—to victims of asbestos exposure and the lung cancer, mesothelioma and other deadly asbestos-related diseases it can cause.
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