Missouri School District Contemplating Tear Down of 50 Year Old Middle School Annex Over Asbestos

Despite finding deteriorating asbestos floor tiles in a forty-seven year old annex, the Marshall School District in Missouri has yet to approve tearing down the structure at Bueker Middle School. While school administrators wait for the official vote to approve demolition the structure, steps are being taken to ensure the health and safety of students and faculty.

Whether the annex is demolished remains an unanswered question but the future of the asbestos is certain. The asbestos floor tiles and any other asbestos products will be removed as early as this summer.

School administrators are quick to reassure concerned parents and faculty that the annex does not pose any health risk, by taking preventative measures above standard practices. Concerns have been raised that former teachers who taught in the annex developed cancer are unrelated to the asbestos.

As results from an environmental survey assessing the asbestos levels within the Bueker annex are pending, school district officials are already planning on how to keep students safe during the school year as the asbestos is abated.

Primarily, the annex will be locked down, blocked from students and faculty, while an environmental contractor removes the toxin. Students who normally attend classes in the annex will be relocated to trailers. Results from the environmental assessment will be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, a necessary step in the abatement process.

Typically found in rocks and some types of soil, asbestos is actually a set of minerals, a common misconception. Since asbestos is flame resistant and acts as an insulator, it was widely used in the manufacturing of building materials and supplies. Some of the most common asbestos applications include floor and ceiling tiles, insulation, roofing, bonding material and plumbing products.

Asbestos is highly carcinogenic where exposure can lead to severe health issues. Exposure to asbestos is akin to exposure to cigarette smoke. Lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, have been linked to asbestos exposure.

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