Many schools in Minnesota and throughout the country were built prior to 1970. Schools erected before this time often share certain characteristics in common. For instance, someone visiting or attending such a school may notice a musty smell from time to time, a sign that the building may contain mold. Asbestos exposure is usually a risk in old school buildings as well.
In fact, an investigation conducted in another state found that a particular school had extremely high levels of numerous toxins, including lead, asbestos and mold. This was discovered after a student was diagnosed with lead poisoning his teacher believes was caused by eating pieces of chipped paint in his classroom. The same school tested high for asbestos, which is not necessarily a problem so long as items containing asbestos are not disturbed.
However, if deterioration or disturbance occurs (perhaps from renovation, maintenance or construction) anyone in the vicinity may be at risk for asbestos-related injuries. The problem is that many older school buildings have trouble with their air conditioning and heating systems. This may ultimately cause high levels of air moisture that can begin to break down products, such as floor tiles, ceiling tiles, cabinetry and other things that contain asbestos.
Students in one school were said to have been exposed to asbestos due to broken floor tiles in the building. That same school reportedly had high levels of lead, as well as a rodent problem. Asbestos exposure should prompt parents to keep close watch on their children’s health conditions as it sometimes leads to serious, incurable illnesses. In Minnesota and elsewhere, people pursue litigation when they learn that someone’s negligence was responsible for their asbestos-related injuries.