Asbestos is a concern for many aging schools in the United States. It can be an expensive problem to contend with, so when a routine inspection uncovers the presence of the hazardous material, it can be a significant stressor for school administrators. However, ignoring or even taking steps to obscure the existence of asbestos on school grounds can result in much direr consequences. To understand the repercussions of this unethical and dangerous act, let’s take a look at the cost of covering up asbestos in schools.
In What Ways Can A School Cover Up Asbestos?
To answer this question, we’ll take a look at the recent accusations of officials from a Pennsylvania school district. When the superintendent, director of operations, and maintenance supervisor of the Scranton school district were informed by inspectors of the presence of asbestos and even lead in the drinking water, the officials did nothing to warn the school’s staff, students, or parents of the dangers. It wasn’t until two more inspections occurring in 2018 and 2019 that action was taken to remedy these issues, and this occurred only after two of the three officials noted had parted ways with the district.
What Was the Cost of Covering Up the Asbestos?
In this particular example, the three individuals involved in the coverup were charged with child endangerment. In total, 147 charges were brought against the officials, 87 of the charges being felonies. Additionally, the employees of the school district filed their own lawsuit, as they were not aware of the hazardous working conditions. With all charges combined, the three liable officials can receive prison sentences amounting to decades.
Aside from the cost of prison time and the PR disaster for the school district, there is a much higher cost of asbestos and lead exposure experienced by the students and staff. The responsibility of removing asbestos fell upon the school officials, and when they neglected to hire an asbestos abatement team, they created an unsafe environment with the potential to generate long-term health effects for the building’s inhabitants.
The cost of covering up asbestos in schools extends far beyond financial repercussions, and the price of abatement pales in comparison to the lawsuits and potential jail time. A coverup will also put many innocent lives at risk. If asbestos is discovered in your school, it’s important you hire an experienced asbestos abatement team like Fiber Control, Inc. Our crew can remove asbestos from your property as well as several other hazardous materials. If you’re aware of a school in need of hazardous material removal or remediation, contact us today.