There are always a lot of questions surrounding health hazards in schools when there are asbestos-containing building materials present. Here are a few facts that the Department of Labor Standards shares with concerned building occupants:
- Yes, there is still asbestos in many schools across the country and in Massachusetts. However, when managed appropriately, the risk to building occupants is minimized.
- In accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule, 40 CFR 763.80 through 763.99 (commonly referred to as AHERA, and implemented in 1987), schools have certain requirements. Such as:
o Designate a contact person.
o Inspect and identify asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in their buildings.
o Prepare management plans and take action to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards.
o Train custodians and maintenance personnel.
o Maintain records pertaining to inspections, periodic surveillance, training, notifications, etc.
o Provide information of the location of ACM or presumed ACM to outside contractors who may come in contact with the material.
- AHERA is designed to allow schools to maintain and manage their ACM in place. Removal of these materials is not usually necessary unless the material is severely damaged or will be disturbed by a building demolition or renovation project.
- No, being in an environment with asbestos-containing materials does not mean you will automatically be exposed to health hazards associated with inhaling asbestos fibers.
o Because of its unique properties, asbestos was widely used in a variety of materials – wallboard and joint compound, floor tiles, boiler and pipe insulation, fireproofing and surface coatings, to name a few.
o Asbestos-containing materials do not pose a health hazard as long as the asbestos-containing materials are managed and maintained in good condition.
The Department of Labor Standards has released new documents to support schools, designated persons, and consultants in their efforts to manage asbestos containing materials. You can find them on our website at www.mass.gov/dols/AHERA
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week posted on Oct 26
Hire only Licensed Lead-Safe Renovation Contractors to perform renovation, repair, or painting work if you own a home or operate a child-occupied facility built prior to 1978. National Lead Poisoning Prevention week is October 23-29, 2016. This year’s theme is “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy …Continue Reading National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
Fall River Career Center fulfilling Amazon’s need for workers posted on Sep 7
FALL RIVER, MA, SEPTEMBER 7, 2016….When Amazon opens its new 1-million-square foot fulfillment center this month the online retailer will not be scrambling to hire new employees. The operation will be fully staffed with nearly 500 new hires recruited through the Fall River Career Center. …Continue Reading Fall River Career Center fulfilling Amazon’s need for workers
YouthWorks Gives Teens Opportunities to Grow posted on Aug 10
BEVERLY, MA, AUGUST 1, 2016….. If 18-year-old Esmayle Gomez did not have a summer job planting crops at the Long Hill Farm in Beverly, through the YouthWorks program, he would most likely spend his days watching TV, playing on his phone, and eating junk food, …Continue Reading YouthWorks Gives Teens Opportunities to Grow