Death Behind the Door

Asbestos Has Been Found in the Tech Building at CHS

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Death Behind the Door

Gracie Nowlan, Staff Writer

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Recently, a bold warning sign popped up on the closet door of room 427 in the tech building. Warding students and teachers away, warning them of asbestos in the tucked away closet. According to Mesothelioma.com,  “Asbestos fibers… are extremely durable and resistant to fire and most chemical reactions and breakdowns. These properties of asbestos supported its use for many years in a number of different commercial and industrial settings… Although its use has diminished in recent decades, there are still many products that contain asbestos, especially in older homes, schools, and public buildings. Asbestos is perhaps best known for its role in causing mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer that can develop in linings of the lungs, abdomen, or heart.” This then raises the concern, why is it in our school?

In an interview with Robert Page, the building manager at Coronado High School, Mr. Page claims that due to water damage from a couple of years ago this problem has worsened. Although the school has been aware of the issue of asbestos in older buildings of Coronado, they have been just now become aware of “how bad it is, since December… before winter break”. The teacher in charge of the closet had a myriad of items in the space causing the school to be unable to see the asbestos. Due to this, they could not stop the issue before it went downhill to the state it is at today. Mrs. Richardson, the physics teacher whose classroom is adjacent to the closet said, “I cleaned it out, so I’m pretty worried about my asbestos intake during the clean out… it’s pretty rough in there, it’s like falling apart, it’s a bit terrifying.”

After being asked what is being done to fix this problem, Mr. Page replied with, ”it’s a long process, we have to hire a special contractor” because “we can’t touch it”. The school should expect to see this problem fixed by next school year which is a moderately long time to be exposed. As long as the door to the now forbidden room stays shut then, the chemical should be contained and the asbestos dust should not become airborne which is the point at which the issue becomes more dangerous.

The majority of older buildings, such as schools, have concentrations ranging from mere traces to dangerous levels of asbestos. Mr. Page explained that just about, “all of the tiles in the school have asbestos in them but we cover them in wax to keep the dust from becoming airborne.” As for the closet, the problem became too out of hand due to the fact that the room was too packed to see any initial damage to the tiles and wax over them.

As for the student body, the main thing to remember is to steer clear of the closet and that with time this problem will be fixed. For now, the the warning sign will broadcast cautionary action and updates as Mr. Page and his team work hard to repair the damage to our school.

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