The Threat of Asbestos Containing Materials

What is Asbestos?

  • A microscopic fiber used in insulation, ceiling plaster, fireproofing, floor tiles and more.
  • Asbestos can easily become airborne and inhaled. Because of their needly shape, they cling to the lining of the lungs and respiratory tract.
  • Inhaling asbestos is a known carcinogen, it can cause:
      • mesothelioma
      • lung cancer
      • asbestosis

Asbestos in Public Schools

  • Teachers are twice as likely as the general public to be diagnosed with mesothelioma.
  • No level of exposure to asbestos is safe. But, the longer and the more intense the exposure, the more likely an individual is to get sick.

Experts say any amount of asbestos found over 100,000 fibers per square centimeter is alarming. In some of the Philadelphia public schools, millions of fibers were present.


A student hugs a damaged asbestos pipe at Kirkbride Elementary school