NH Gets Money to Address Asbestos in Schools
Lately, it seems that when you plug in the word “asbestos” on your favorite search engine, you find a myriad of articles about the presence of the toxic mineral in schools throughout the United States and – indeed – the world.
It’s an issue that puts our youngest and most vulnerable in danger as well as the devoted adults that teach and care for them all day long.
Some school districts seem to adopt a lackadaisical attitude towards the problem while others – thank goodness – have begun to take it seriously.
Recently, the state of New Hampshire appealed to the Environmental Protection Agency for funds to address the problem in their schools and it was announced this week that they’ll be receiving $140,000 in EPA dollars, which will be added to their New Hampshire Asbestos in Schools program fund.
According to a brochure about the program, its job is to review school asbestos management plans to ensure they comply with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, maintain an asbestos accreditation and certification training program, and provide educational outreach to parents, teachers, and school maintenance personnel on the dangers of asbestos exposure.
The money will help fund training courses for maintenance staff and custodial workers throughout New Hampshire and will provide other resources to the community to help address the concerns of asbestos in school buildings in that state.
New Hampshire’s Democratic congressional delegation pushed for the funding, likely concerned that the importance of monitoring asbestos is becoming less important under the Trump administration and the current EPA leadership.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, part of the delegation, said that it was “critical for the health and safety of the children that the state combat asbestos.”
The grant, she added, “would provide critical information for all stakeholders in the event of asbestos exposure.”
Many American schools are ripe with asbestos materials, especially those built in the early decades of the 20th century.
Asbestos can be found in floor and ceiling tiles, drywall and drywall tape, cement, boilers, insulation products, and many other building materials.
Schools MUST, according to law, know where these asbestos products are located, must have them labeled, and should offer a map available to the general public that shows the location of any toxic materials within each school building.