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Asbestos could be lurking in Ohio's older school buildings

School districts across the country, including here in Ohio, still use buildings constructed with materials that could contain questionable substances. For instance, asbestos could be present in many of those buildings. As long as those materials are not disturbed, they are presumed safe. However, when there are cracks, holes or other damage to them, they could become dangerous to students, teachers and staff at the school in question.

Ohio parents would expect a school with such damage to let teachers, parents and staff know. However, there is no way to know whether the school or school district would divulge that information. For instance, a school district in a neighboring state now faces a lawsuit alleging that the school district knew about dangerous asbestos and lead in an elementary school. According to the complaint, district officials knew that students, teachers and staff faced health risks apparently present in the school from these substances since 2016.

The plaintiffs go on to allege that board members and others serving from 2016 through 2019 knew that all but four buildings in the Pennsylvania school district knew of the dangers but failed to disclose them or take any action to fix the problems. Of course, it could take years, if not decades, for anyone exposed to asbestos or lead to know whether they suffered any ill effects. Individuals may need to undergo periodic testing to try to catch any possible illness as quickly as possible.

This situation could arise just about anywhere, including here in Ohio. School districts ought to make sure that anyone in their buildings are as safe as possible, and that includes checking for asbestos and other dangerous substances. When that doesn't happen, it could lead to serious health consequences for unsuspecting victims.

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