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Asbestos Found in Philadelphia Schools

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Many people believe that asbestos was banned in the 1970s, it wasn’t. 

Regulations on the use of asbestos came in the 1970s when court documents proved that leaders in the asbestos industry were aware of the dangers but kept this information from the public. Commonly used in construction, asbestos is made of thin fibrous crystals and is highly resistant to heat. It is often used as a building material and electric insulator. Other uses include ceiling insulation, flooring, roofing and pipe insulation among other things.

More than 50 countries, including the entirety of the European Union, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom have banned the use of asbestos. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were put in place in the 1970s to limit the use and exposure of people to toxic pollutants in the U.S.. Although there are regulations in place such as the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Geological Survey determined that there were 750 metric tons of asbestos imported into the U.S in 2018. Similarly, in 2011 it was determined that 50% of houses in the United Kingdom still had asbestos despite being banned in 1999

Timeline of asbestos discovery in Philadelphia

It has long been known that many Philadelphia Public School Buildings contained asbestos, as do virtually all buildings constructed during the time period when asbestos-containing building and insulation products were widely used.  In fact, Locks Law Firm represented to School District of Philadelphia in a lawsuit against asbestos manufacturers in the 1970s and 1980s. Despite the fact that that litigation was successfully settled, asbestos remains in many of the buildings. In the last few months,

The presence of this asbestos has again been in the news.

September 25, 2019

Asbestos was found around the air ducts in the boiler room at Benjamin Franklin High School. 

Asbestos was also found around the air ducts at the Science Leadership Academy which shares the campus with Benjamin Franklin High School. 

A report from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (teachers union), says that asbestos has been found in 150 buildings (?) in the school district. 

October 4, 2019

Superidents of Philadelphia Public Schools announced that the two aforementioned school will remain closed indefinitely due to the asbestos levels found after more inspection. 

October 24, 2019

An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer has photos and a report that indicates asbestos was found at T.M. Peirce Elementary School. The reporting also makes clear that when asbestos was found a Meredith Elementary the District acted within (2) days.

November 21, 2019

Lea DiRusso a Philadelphia Public School Teacher for almost 30 years went public via the Philadelphia Inquirer about her recent diagnosis of mesothelioma. She taught at Meredith and Nebinger two Philly public school with known asbestos reports.

The attorneys at Locks Law Firm have a proven track record of helping individuals who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis as a result of toxic exposure to asbestos. We have seen firsthand the effect that diagnosis can have on a family and we can help. If you or a loved one have recently been given a mesothelioma diagnosis, call us today.

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