School officials in Carpentersville, Illinois, told parents of elementary students that as many as four classrooms may contain asbestos.
Administrators of Sunny Hill Elementary, located approximately 30 miles outside of Chicago, said they promptly removed the elementary students from the tainted classrooms once the issue was identified.
Asbestos exposure is known to cause mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the lining of the lungs, lining of the abdomen or lining of the heart. Because of this link, school officials left nothing to chance.
Barrington Unit District 220 Superintendent Tom Leonard and Sunny Hill Principal Irma Bates sent a letter to parents on Nov. 1 to inform parents that all the necessary precautions and safety actions are being taken.
Asbestos Discovered During Renovations
The discovery was made while a foreman was replacing equipment in seven classrooms within the school.
The asbestos was not considered a serious threat because it never was disturbed or became airborne, according to officials. Early tests showed asbestos is definitely present in three classrooms. A fourth classroom also could be affected.
“The best approach to dealing with asbestos is to immediately contain it,” said Jeff Arnett, a district spokesman.
Officials estimate that the classroom abatement and repairs should be completed between by Nov. 7.
Meanwhile, two classes from tainted classrooms were moved into the library, a third was transferred to the cafeteria and the final class was moved into an art room.
While the situation at Sunny Hill is troubling to many parents, it is not unique to many other public schools districts across the nation.
Because of budgetary restrictions, some schools are finding it difficult to renovate older and outdated buildings as often as they used to.