AHERA was implemented under the Toxic Substance Control Act in 1986. It was established to put protocols and procedures in place to deal with asbestos in school buildings. Since the asbestos materials and products present in schools are often very old, they can break down and become friable, which can pose a hazard to students, teachers, and other school employees.
The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act requires public and non-profit private schools to:
If asbestos-containing materials are severely damaged or pose danger or will be disturbed by a building demolition or renovation project, the school must have the asbestos removed in accordance with the Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan. Recently, three elementary schools were closed in Orange County, California, while asbestos was removed from buildings on the campuses. Over 1,600 students were displaced during the abatement processes.
Asbestos exposure can lead to debilitating and fatal diseases, like mesothelioma. If you are worried about your child’s health at school, do not hesitate to inquire to your school district about their AHERA procedures.