Last month, Massachusetts’ Attorney General Maura Healy announce a new initiative to help educate and protect children, families, and workers from the dangers of asbestos. The initiative, Healthy Buildings, Healthy Air, will bring together state agencies and school districts to ensure safe practices are upheld for the handling and removal of asbestos. It will also focus on educating those with the greatest risks caused by asbestos, specifically children, the elderly, and low-income families.
Asbestos has been widely used in many building products because of its tensile strength and chemical and thermal resistance – and therefore can be found in older residential homes, commercial properties, schools, hospitals, and more. Unfortunately, asbestos is also a carcinogen that causes lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma and is responsible for 12,000 to 15,000 deaths in the United States each year. This makes it extremely hazardous to workers handling it, and if it isn’t handled properly and gets into the air, it can be hazardous to an even greater population.
Due to the hazard, strict regulations and procedures have been enacted to prevent asbestos exposure. That is why asbestos abatement is not a DIY project and professional remediation services are required by law from state-licensed asbestos contractors.
The new initiative comes on the heels of a 2015 report from the office of U.S. Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), Failing the Grade: Asbestos in America’s Schools, where two-thirds of the school districts in 15 states acknowledged asbestos was present in their schools. Given its extensive presence, providing asbestos education and ensuring safe measures are taken to remediate it have become vital to a healthy tomorrow.
More details on the Healthy Buildings, Healthy Air initiative can be found in the official announcement to better protect the public. In the meantime, if you need more information on asbestos at your property, including testing, sampling, or removal, please contact us, we will be happy to help.