NCEF Resource List: Asbestos in Schools
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ASBESTOS IN SCHOOLS

Information on how asbestos abatement and management is conducted in school and university facilities, and how schools may comply with federal regulations, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.


References to Books and Other Media

Environmental Protection Agency. Asbestos in Schools.
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Aug 2011)
This EPA webpage provides information on the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) and how schools can comply, a summary of the health effects of asbestos, information for Local Education Agency Designated Persons, information for parents, teachers, and other school employees, and useful links.

Selection of Asbestos Environmental Services Consultant.
(Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville, FL , May 2011)
Presents the Duval County Public Schools' asbestos consultant selection criteria, including types of selection, qualifying data and forms, specific screening and selection procedures. 27p.

Asbestos in Construction Products.
(Asbestos.net Mesothelioma and Asbestos Cancer Resource , 2011)
Describes many construction products that have at one time contained asbestos and can still be found in older building and facilities, as well as the years during which asbestos was used in those products.

Asbestos in Schools
(PleuralMesothelioma.com , 2011)
Discusses the use of asbestos in building products, including many which were used in schools. Programs designed to ensure that existing asbestos remains contained and does not represent a hazard are also described.

Asbestos in Schools.
(Mesotheliomasymptoms.com, 2011)
Discusses the use of asbestos in schools built before the mid-1970's. This asbestos may or may not need to be removed, but will always need monitoring to ensure that it remains out of the atmosphere.

Asbestos in Schools.
(Mesathelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center, 2011)
Discusses the prevalance of asbestos in schools built before the mid-1970's, the inability of some schools to afford its removal, heightened exposure in schools with poor air quality, and the necessity to keep asbestos that cannot be removed in good condition so that it does not crumble and become an airborne hazard.

Asbestos in Schools.
(Asbestos News, 2011)
Discusses asbestos management in schools and the danger of old asbestos in schools.

Asbestos in Schools.
(Mesotheliomaweb.org, 2011)
Offers a school asbestos information section to inform parents about the risks of asbestos exposure in schools. The section provides information on materials that commonly contain asbestos, frequently asked questions, news items, and how parents can find out if their school contains asbestos. In the United States, schools that contain asbestos are required to have management plans and many schools have removed, sealed, or enclosed the material. However as buildings age and require maintenance and repair, the odds of workers, teachers and students accidentally coming into contact with asbestos containing materials has increased.

The Risk of Asbestos Exposure in Schools.
(Mesothelioma Treatment Centers, 2011)
Reviews the risk of asbestos exposure in schools, considering the large number of school buildings built from the 1950's through the 1970's with materials that contained asbestos. Typical sources of asbestos in schools, the potential state of asbestos in aging school buildings, and the potential for asbestos fiber inhalation are addressed, and numerous links to additional sources of information and assistance are provided.

The Use of Asbestos in School Buildings.
(Asbestos.com, 2011)
Discusses typical sources of asbestos in building products found in schools built before 1978, inspection requirements for schools that contain asbestos, health risks from asbestos, and protection of children when asbestos remediation is underway.

What is the Government Doing about Asbestos in Schools?
(Adviceformesothelioma.com, 2011)
Discusses hazards of asbestos in schools, specific legislation that the U.S. government has taken to remove asbestos from schools, and provides referrals for those seeking information on asbestos in schools.

Healthy Schools: Lessons for a Clean Educational Environment. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 2008)
Helps school employees and parents recognize potential environmental health issues at schools, both indoors and outdoors. It includes basic information about mold, radon, VOCs, ventilation, asbestos, lead, mercury, chemicals, pesticides, PCBs, UV radiation, diesel fumes, air quality forecasts, and oil storage. Also provided are links to web sites that offer more information and guidance on how to have a healthier school environment and comply with relevant laws. 16p.

The Comprehensive School Health Manual, Chapter 4: A Safe and Healthful Environment.
(Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health, Boston , 2007)
This chapter of Massachusetts' School Health Manual covers the school environment, including building and environmental standards, indoor air quality, school buses, underground fuel storage tanks, asbestos, radon, environmental hazards, pesticides, laboratory and art studio product safety, shop safety, renovations in an occupied building, school maintenance and sanitation, school food service, lighting, water supply, plumbing, fire safety, outdoor safety, building security, disaster/terrorism planning, and risk mitigation. Includes 117 references and a variety of additional resources. 72p.

Renovation & Construction in Schools: Controlling Health and Safety Hazards. Adobe PDF
(New Jersey Dept. of Health and Senior Services, Trenton , Mar 2004)
Provides information on potential health and safety hazards associated with school renovation and construction and what precautions to take in order to prevent or control them. These include dust, debris, asbestos, lead, volatile offgassing from new furnishings and coatings, machine exhaust, mold, bird droppings, and noise. 6p.

ABCs of Asbestos in Schools. Revised Edition. Adobe PDF
(Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Washington, DC , Aug 2003)
This pamphlet can help parents and teachers answer questions and learn the facts about asbestos in schools. It also outlines the responsibilities of school boards and other school officials to protect school children and employees from possible exposure to asbestos. The document describes the nature and dangers of asbestos and the passage of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act in 1986. This includes plans for school management, sources of further information, and a list of regional asbestos coordinators. 20p.
Report NO: EPA-745-K93-017


Renaissance of the American School Building. Adobe PDF
Bomier, Bruce
(Environmental Resource Council, Ramsey, MN , Sep 2002)
This is a non-technical reader on how school buildings, health, and environment are entwined. The author provides a reasonable road map to consider when making decisions related to indoor air quality and other health concerns of school building environments. The author takes a look at unwise decisions that were made in the recent past, and believes that the previous emphasis on standardized, low-bid design and modular, environmentally indifferent school construction is undergoing a renaissance. In particular, chapter five discusses federal asbestos policy for schools in the late 1980s and early '90s. The author recommends an environmentally responsible analysis of traditional building construction or remodeling methods using the following criteria: 1) financial value and life cycle costs; 2) occupant health and comfort; 3) ecosystem impact; 4) educational value; and 5) common sense and integration. 63p.
TO ORDER: Environmental Resource Council, 5909 167th Avenue, N.W., Suite #2, Ramsey, MN 55303. Tel: 763-753-9713

Indoor Air Pollutants, Limited Resource Households and Childcare Facilities. Adobe PDF
Laquatra, J.; Maxwell, L.E.; Pierce, M.
(Indoor Air 2002, The Ninth International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, Monterey, CA , 2002)
Presents findings from an indoor air quality study of homes and childcare facilities in nonmetropolitan counties of New York State. Specific pollutants examined were lead, radon, carbon monoxide, asbestos, and mold. High levels of pollutants were observed homes and childcare facilities, raising questions about constant pollutant exposure to children. Recommendations are made for lowering exposure levels in low income households and childcare facilities. (Includes eleven references.) 6p.

Environmental Public Health Policy for Asbestos in Schools: Unintended Consequences
Corn, Jacqueline Karnell
(Lewis Publishers,Boca Raton, FL , 2000)
This book explores the history of asbestos in schools and buildings and how this issue shaped the development of public health policy. It provides insight into past policy including how, why, and who caused action to be taken; and offers guidance for the scientific and regulatory communities in the future. While explaining technical concepts in everyday language, the book also provides insight into the politics of environment and highlights how the issue of asbestos influenced the development of environmental policy and its implications for other potential health hazards. Also examined are the roles of school administrators, labor unions, the Congress, the courts, environmentalists, scientists, school agencies, and ordinary citizens in the resolution of asbestos in schools. 141p.
TO ORDER: CRC Press LLC, 2000 Corporate Blvd., N.W., Boca Raton, FL 33431

Evaluation of the Implementation of Asbestos Operations and Maintenance Programs in New Jersey Schools. Adobe PDF
Kominsky, John R., Freyberg, Ronald W., Gerber, Donald R., Centifonti, Gary J.
(Environmental Quality Management, Inc., Cincinnati, OH.; New Jersey State Dept. of Health, Trenton , 1997)
All schools are required to develop and implement an asbestos management plan (AMP). The key component of this plan is each school's operations and maintenance (O&M) program. This report outlines the importance of such programs. It describes an O&M program as an administrative framework that prescribes specific activities and work procedures to control and respond to activities that may disturb asbestos-containing materials. The program's success is contingent on the commitment of all personnel involved in conscientiously implementing O&M program elements and in conducting O&M activities. For this report, a study was conducted to evaluate the implementation of asbestos O&M programs at 10 sites representing 8 New Jersey schools. Each school's O&M program and program compliance were documented. Furthermore, 10 ongoing O&M activities were documented to determine the impact of the activities on airborne asbestos levels. The study found that, overall, the schools were not completely implementing all the elements of the asbestos O&M program as outlined by the EPA and other guidelines. Elements of the program were not performed or they were not communicated to workers or contractors. 104p.
Report NO: EPA/600/R-97/063


Asbestos Abatement and Management Activities in New Jersey Schools.
(New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Consumer and Environmental Health Services , Jul 1996)
This concise advisory bulletin provides information regarding asbestos management programs in schools. It is intended to assist schools that have conducted asbestos abatement, schools that plan to perform asbestos removal projects, or schools that will continue asbestos abatement operations and maintenance activities.

Asbestos Abatement and Management in Buildings, Model Guide Specifications
(National Institute of Building Sciences, Washington, D.C. , 1996)
This document provides advice and guidance in the design and execution of abatement of asbestos-containing materials (ACM). First published in 1986, this manual now includes developments in products, equipment, regulations, and procedures; new sections on abatement of asbestos containing resilient flooring; and an 80-page Introduction and Instructions for Use which: facilitates a more effective use of the Model Guide; includes instructional information for evaluating, selecting and coordinating a qualified design team; developing, organizing and coordinating contract documents; assembling proper bidding packages; successfully negotiating, administrating and closing out abatement contracts; conducting safe abatement in occupied buildings and managing liability; and clearly outlines the responsibilities of the owner, the design team and the contract. 465p.
TO ORDER: https://www.nibs.org/index.php/nibs/resources/asbestoscontrol

Guidance Manual: Asbestos Operations & Maintenance Work Practices
(National Institute of Building Sciences, Washington, DC , 1996)
This technical manual provides detailed guidance to building owners, asbestos program managers, and operations and maintenance (O&M) workers for managing asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in buildings. The manual addresses four different types of ACM found in buildings and three different levels of precaution which may be warranted by specific building conditions. A new regulatory appendix summarizes key regulations (OSHA, EPA, and DOT) affecting asbestos O&M work. Sections of the manual include: Initiating an O&M Program; Asbestos Program Manager General Procedures; Worker General Procedures; Surfacing Materials Work Practices; Thermal Systems Insulation Work Practices; Miscellaneous Materials Work Practices; and Resilient Flooring Work Practices. 466p.
TO ORDER: https://www.nibs.org/index.php/nibs/resources/asbestoscontrol

How to Manage Asbestos in School Buildings: AHERA Designated Person's Self-Study Guide. Adobe PDF
(Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 1996)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires schools to appoint an asbestos management coordinator called the "AHERA (Asbestos Hazardous Emergency Response Act) designated person" (DP) who is responsible for a number of asbestos-related activities. This manual presents some recommendations designed to help those persons appointed to this position understand his or her responsibilities. The DP implements the plan for managing asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM) in the school buildings and ensures that schools comply with federal asbestos regulations. Staff at the EPA have observed that the quality of school asbestos programs depends heavily on the dedication and work of the AHERA DP. DPs who know the AHERA requirements can effectively prevent the release of asbestos fibers not only through their own actions but also through their ability to hire and oversee the work of personnel conducting asbestos-related activities at their school buildings. The eleven chapters presented provide an introduction to asbestos and explain asbestos health risks; detail the AHERA inspection; outline a management plan; and discuss training and accreditation, recordkeeping, and related regulations. 99p.
Report NO: EPA 910-B-96-001


Airborne Asbestos Concentrations During Buffing of Resilient Floor Tile in New Jersey Schools.
Gerber, Donald R.; Centifonti, Gary J.; Ritota, Richard M.; Brownlee, James E.
(New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Lead and Asbestos Program, Trenton, NJ , 1996)
This is an abstract describing a study conducted to determine the level of airborne asbestos concentrations during routine spray-buffing of asbestos-containing floor tiles at seventeen schools in northern, central, and southern New Jersey. Several recommendations that were developed as a result of the conclusions from this study are summarized. 1p.

Asbestos Risk Management Issues for Our Schools.
Centifonti, Gary J. ; Gerber, Donald R.; Ritota, Richard M. ; Brownlee, James A.
( New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Lead and Asbestos Program, Trenton, NJ , 1994)
This brief report provides the results of the first four years of studies documenting asbestos abatement and management activities in New Jersey schools required by the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA). The studies are being provided to assist and inform schools in managing materials that contain asbestos and to reduce the risk of exposures in schools. 3p.

Toxic Substances: Information on Costs and Financial Aid to Schools To Control Asbestos. Adobe PDF
(General Accounting Office, Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division, Washington, DC , 1992)
Information on the costs of and financial aid available to schools for asbestos abatement is provided in this report. Data are based on interviews with officials from 15 school districts in 5 states--Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Section 1 provides background on the use of asbestos in buildings, health problems, federal legislation and regulations, and the study's research design. The second section outlines asbestos safety requirements for schools as required by three federal laws--Environmental Protection Agency standards under the Clean Air Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986. Options for reducing asbestos exposure--removal or inplace management--are described in the third section. Section 4 presents information on costs to manage or abate asbestos, with a focus on cost estimates and available federal assistance. 25p.
Report NO: GAO/RCED-92-57FS


Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions about Reinspections under the AHERA Asbestos-In-Schools Rule
(Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 1991)
This document was prepared in response to inquiries that have been received by the Environmental Protection Agency concerning the reinspection requirements and related provisions of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) regulations. The answers developed represent the Agency's responses to the 15 most frequently asked questions to this subject. Contact information for regional asbestos coordinators is provided. 10p.
TO ORDER: TSCA Hotline; Tel: 202-554-1404
http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/schools.html

Asbestos in Schools: Evaluation of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA): A Summary Report Adobe PDF
Fraser, Alexa; And Others
(Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 1991)
In fall 1989, the initial implementation of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (AHERA) was evaluated. This report summarizes evaluation results presented in a two-volume final report and appendices. AHERA regulations required: (1) inspection of all elementary and secondary schools to identify any asbestos-containing building materials present; (2) preparation of an asbestos management plan for each school; (3) notification of parents and staff of the plan's availability for review; and (4) training of school maintenance and custodial workers. The evaluation study focused on buildings occupied by K-12 students; schools in the target population represent about 80 percent of all 106,000 schools in the U.S. 33p.

Evaluation of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA). Final Report. Adobe PDF
Fraser, Alexa; And Others
(Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, 1991)
In fall 1989, the initial implementation of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (AHERA) was evaluated. AHERA regulations required inspection of all elementary and secondary schools to identify any asbestos-containing building materials present; preparation of an asbestos management plan for each school; notification of parents and staff of the plan's availability for review; and training of school maintenance and custodial workers. The evaluation study focused on buildings occupied by K-12 students and employed a national statistical sample of 30 communities, in which 198 schools were visited and thoroughly inspected. Findings were compared with the original AHERA inspection as presented in each schools' management plan. The evaluation comprised six separate research areas: school building inspections; management plans; response actions; original AHERA inspection evaluation; notification; and maintenance and custodial worker training. Original AHERA inspectors had correctly estimated the quantity of each asbestos-containing material in 60 percent of the buildings. 447p.

Managing Asbestos in Place: A Building Owner's Guide to Operations and Maintenance Programs for Asbestos-Containing Materials.
(Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 1990)
Instructions for building owners on the selection and application of appropriate asbestos control and abatement actions are presented in this guidebook. Chapter 1 offers background information on the asbestos problem. Chapter 2 describes the purpose and scope of an operations and maintenance (O&M) program. The third chapter discusses planning steps, including a survey and evaluation of asbestos-containing materials and program implementation and management, with a focus on cost. Work practices, recordkeeping suggestions and requirements, and elements of an O&M program are described in chapter 4. Chapter 5 offers training recommendations for workers performing O&M activities, and the last chapter provides an overview of federal, state, and local regulations. 50p.
TO ORDER: TSCA Hotline; Tel: 202-554-1404; Email: tsca-hotline@epa.gov
http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/buildings.html

100 Commonly Asked Questions about the New AHERA Asbestos-in-Schools Rule Adobe PDF
(Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC , 1988)
This is a collection of commonly asked questions about the new Asbestos-Containing Material in Schools rule announced by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in October 1987, under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) of 1986. It is offered as a guide to help school officials, training providers, and accredited persons better understand the new AHERA regulations. Many questions are answered directly and completely. Other questions are answered in general terms as the EPA's stance may change depending upon particular circumstances for individual schools. 65p.

Asbestos in the Schools: A Guide for School Administrators, Teachers and Parents
Harvey, Carolyn; Rollinson, Mark
(Praeger Publishers , 1987)
This book summarizes the available knowledge pertinent to the decisions that school administrators and others must make regarding asbestos. Chapters cover the historical perspective surrounding asbestos, the legal matters created from asbestos exposure, the factual matters behind air containments including asbestos and its physical risks, the financial matters surrounding asbestos removal and sources of help, and the moral considerations. Appendices contain the House Report and Joint Explanatory Statement to the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986, a synopsis of Environmental Protection Agency Proposed Rules of April 1987. 133p.
TO ORDER: Greenwood Publishing Group, 88 Post Rd. West, P.O. Box 5007, Westport, CT 05881-5007. Tel: 800-225-5800
http://www.greenwood.com

Airborne Asbestos in Colorado Public Schools
Chadwick, DA; Buchan, RM; Beaulieu, HJ.
(Environmental Research., Feb 1985)
Levels of airborne asbestos for six Colorado public school facilities with sprayed-on asbestos materials were documented using three analytical techniques. Phase contrast microscopy showed levels up to the thousandths of a fiber per cubic centimeter (f/cc), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) up to the hundredths of a f/cc, and transmission electron microscopy coupled to selected area electron diffraction and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (TEM-SAED-EDXA) up to the tenths of an asbestos f/cc. Phase contrast microscopy was found to be an inadequate analytical technique for documenting the levels of airborne asbestos fibers in the schools: only large fibers which were not embedded in the filter were counted, and asbestos fibers were not distinguished from nonasbestos.[Authors' abstract] p1-13
TO ORDER: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3881254

References to Journal Articles

Reducing Health Risks on Campus.
Kollie, Ellen
College Planning and Management; v11 n6 , p24,26-28 ; Jun 2008
Advises on handling asbestos, lead, mold, and radon risks in new and existing schools, as well as during renovations.

Identifying and Treating Environmental Hazards.
Silicato, Steve
Buildings; v102 n2 , p72,74,76 ; Feb 2008
Advises on identification, analysis, abatement, and remediation of asbestos, lead-based paint, and mold.

The EPA is Studying You.
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; v46 n1 , p25-27 ; Jan 2007
Advises on paying attention to environmental regulations, especially regarding hazardous materials, underground storage tanks, and wetlands. Examples of school systems that have been fined are provided, as well as software that can help schools keep track of the regulations and compliance.

The High Cost of Cleanup. Adobe PDF
Buchanan, Bruce
American School Board Journal; v193 n12 , p22-25 ; Dec 2006
Reviews the threat of asbestos, lead, and mercury in schools. Sources of these toxins and options for their removal or containment are covered.
TO ORDER: American School Board Journal, 1680 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; Tel: 703-838-6722
http://www.asbj.com/MainMenuCategory/Archive/2006

What You Don't Know Might Hurt You.
Jones, Jennifer
School Planning and Management; v44 n10 , p20-24 ; Oct 2005
Discusses the history of asbestos use in building materials, its effect on the body, and techniques for identifying, handling, abating, and removing it. Suggestions for cleaning and maintenance around asbestos and for selecting a removal contractor are included.

All about Asbestos
Roy, Ken
Science Scope; v29 n2 , p10-12 ; Oct 2005
Asbestos has been used in the construction of elementary, middle, and high school ceilings, floor tile adhesives, pipe and structural beam insulations, science laboratory benches, wire gauss on ring stands, fume hood panels, general insulation, and more during the 1950s through early 1970s. Why? Primarily asbestos was selected because of its fireproofing, acoustical, and sometimes decorative character. Over time, as the asbestos-ladened material began to dry, it became friable. In other words, it flakes off and becomes an airborne fine dust that suspends in school classrooms and laboratories. In 1973, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the use of spray-on asbestos materials because of a concern for potential long-term effects in children and teachers. Levels of airborne asbestos inside school buildings with asbestos-containing materials can exceed outdoor ambient levels by a factor of over 1,000. This article briefly describes the health effects of asbestos. [Author's abstract]

Asbestos Suite Nearing Conclusion.
Gross, Anne
Facilities Manager; v21 n4 , p60,61 ; Jul-Aug 2005
Describes the upcoming resolution of a higher education class action suit to recover money spent on asbestos abatement, including suggested steps to take now and an online link to documentation.

Custodial Training Makes Sense and Saves Dollars.
Petersen, David
School Planning and Management; v41 n7 , p50-53 ; Jul 2002
Explains that due to the complexity of today's custodial work, extensive education and training is required. This includes basic commercial/industrial cleaning techniques; hygiene procedures; asbestos awareness; management, scheduling, and budgeting; chemical usage; and calculating operations efficiency. Details the in-depth custodial training of Fairfax County Public Schools and the resulting cost savings.

Is School Making Your Students Sick?
Comnes, Leslie
Clearing; n111 , p10-14 ; Winter 2002
Reviews environmental hazards within schools. Identifies indoor air pollution, asbestos, lead poisoning, and pesticides as the leading hazards. Forms of indoor air pollution include radon carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and various allergens such as mold and animal dander. Presents some guiding principles for the environmental quality of schools along with curriculum and assessment resources.

A Report on Asbestos Management
Centifonti, Gary J.; Gerber, Donald R.
School Business Affairs; v63 n10 , p53-56 ; Oct 1997
A series of studies in New Jersey schools documented asbestos abatement and management activities in 17 schools representing 20 abatement sites. Findings demonstrate that school officials must increase their awareness of asbestos issues, improve the oversight of asbestos abatement and management programs, and improve lines of communication among school employees.

Communicating a Plan.
Cramm, Charles; Hulce, Frank
American School and University; v68 n11 , p48,50 ; Jul 1996
Argues that schools should use a planned communications program to allay fears brought on by asbestos removal. Offers tips on informing the public, such as developing an informative handbook and distributing flyers. Claims that special meetings offer the opportunity to hand out materials and answer questions.

Asbestos in New York City Public School Buildings--Public Policy: Is There a Scientific Basis?
Wilson, R.; Langer, A.M.; Nolan, R.P.; Gee, J.B.; Ross, M.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology ; v20 n2 , p161-9 ; Oct 1994
The most recent of New York City's asbestos emergencies occurred in the late summer of 1993. It prevented schools from opening that fall, precipitated much media excitement, and caused a flurry of widespread abatement activities. This resulted in large measure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's subjective school building inspection policy concerning identification of asbestos hazards in buildings and the subsequent Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act mandate for inspection. Data on concentrations of asbestos in the air, important for the calculation of risk to building occupants, were not required and therefore not obtained, as part of the abatement strategy or priority setting. Based on fiber-in-air measurements obtained elsewhere, the calculated risk to NYC school children, using the most pessimistic models, was less than six excess cancer deaths per million lifetimes equivalent to smoking less than a dozen cigarettes in a lifetime. The NYC administration responded to pressure from parent groups concerned with perceived asbestos risks to their children by closing the schools. The hysteria occurred because much of EPA's policy lacked a scientific basis for risk evaluation and assessment. [Authors' abstract]
TO ORDER: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.

Schools Respond to Risk Management Programs for Asbestos, Lead in Drinking Water and Radon.
Fisher,Ann; Chestnut,Lauraine G.;Chapman,Ruth H.;Rowe, Robert D
(Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord, NH, 1993)
Risk: Health, Safety & Environment; v4 ; 1993
This paper summarizes the findings of a study that examined the effectiveness of risk communication materials, information dissemination and assistance efforts and selected regulatory design strategies for three different risk management programs for public schools that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated in response to Congressional mandates.
TO ORDER: Franklin Pierce Law Center, Two White Street, Concord, NH 03301; Tel: 603-228-1541
http://www.piercelaw.edu/risk/profrisk.htm

Asbestos in Schools: The Latest Phantom Risk.
Whelan, Dr. Elizabeth M.
Priorities; v5 n4 ; 1993
In reference to the delayed opening of New York public schools in 1993, Dr. Whelan believes that the health risk to children from asbestos is negligible, remote, hypothetical, and probably nonexistent. Two facts support that conclusion: First, the type of asbestos found in New York City schools and other public buildings, the so called chrysotile or "white" asbestos, is relatively harmless compared to other types of asbestos that were found years ago in occupational settings. Second, the levels of asbestos "detected" in the schools was extraordinarily low.

Airborne Concentrations of Asbestos in 71 School Buildings.
Corn, M.; Crump, K.; Farrar, D.B.; Lee, R.J.; McFee, D.R.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology; v13 n1 , p99-114 ; Feb 1991
A total of 473 air samples from 71 schools scheduled for abatement (328 indoor static samples, 51 personal samples, and 94 outdoor samples) were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy techniques. Six measures of asbestos-in-air concentration were considered: (1) total asbestos structures per cubic centimeter: (2) chrysotile structures per cubic centimeter; (3) amphibole structures per cubic centimeter; (4) structures per cubic centimeter at least 0.5 micron long and at least five times wide; (5) structures per cubic centimeter at least 5 microns long; and (6) structures per cubic centimeter at least 5 microns long and at least 0.2 micron wide. The average concentration of chrysotile structures in indoor air samples was 0.017 structures/cm3; the average concentration of amphibole structures was 0.0015 structure/cm3. Ninety-five percent of structures found were chrysotile. The average concentrations of all structures were significantly higher indoors than outdoors (P less than 0.001). The average concentration of structures more than 5 microns long indoors was 0.00023 structure/cm3. None of the following factors were significantly correlated with asbestos concentrations in air: type of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) present, condition of ACM, accessibility of ACM to students, whether ACM were covered, air flow, or whether sweeping was noted during sample collection. In addition, asbestos-in-air concentrations were not significantly different in different types of schools (high, intermediate or elementary) or in schools constructed in different time periods. Lastly, there was no correlation between the mineral type of asbestos found in the air and the type found in samples of bulk material. [Authors' abstract]
TO ORDER: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/

Asbestos-Related Disease in Public School Custodians
Oliver, L.C.; Sprince, N.L.; Greene, R.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine; v19 n3 , p303-16 ; 1991
A cross-sectional prevalence study of 120 public school custodians was carried out. The purposes were 1) to investigate the prevalence of asbestos-related disease in a group of custodians at risk for asbestos exposure in public schools and 2) to determine the proportion with disease attributable to exposures in school buildings. Mean age of subjects was 57 years and mean duration of work as a custodian, 27 years. Fifty-seven (47.5%) had no known or likely exposure to asbestos outside of their work as a school custodian (NOE). Pleural plaques (PP) occurred in 40 (33%) of the total group and 12 (21%) of the group with NOE. Pulmonary restriction (FVC less than 80% predicted, FEV1/FVC% greater than or equal to 70) occurred in 22 (18%) of the total group and 10 (17%) of those with NOE. DLCO was lower in the group with restriction. Multivariate analysis revealed significant associations (p less than 0.05) between both PP and restriction and duration of asbestos exposure. AO radiographs increased PP detection by a factor of 1.9. Our results reveal PP prevalence in excess of background and pulmonary restriction in the study population, and indicate that PP are attributable to asbestos in schools. Findings with regard to pulmonary restriction need further investigation. Prudent management of asbestos in buildings is indicated for the prevention of related disease. [Authors' abstract]

Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools; Final Rule and Notice. 40 CFR Part 763. Adobe PDF
Federal Register; v52 n10 , p1-79 ; Oct 30, 1987
All schools in the nation, public or private, except for-profit schools are subject to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "Asbestos in Schools Rule ". The rule requires schools to identify asbestos that is present in their buildings, develop a plan to manage that asbestos and reinspect those materials every three years. This is the full text of that ruling.

Asbestos in School Buildings: Results of a Nation-Wide Survey.
Silver, Kenneth Z.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences ; v330 n1 , p777–786 ; Dec 1979
TO ORDER: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/


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