Montreal, Quebec, Canada – The largest school board in the province announced yesterday its $5 million plans to deal with asbestos in all of its schools.
The Commission scolaire de Montreal (CSDM) said that it will conduct inspections in 24 schools to check asbestos levels over the summer. Part of the $5 million will be used to renovate buildings that are found to contain unsafe levels of asbestos.
CSDM chairperson Diane DeCourcy noted that there is no need for concern because the board was just being cautious.
The asbestos project follows up on inspections that were made 10 years ago that identified which schools contained asbestos. Fortunately the discovered asbestos were all sealed off and not disturbed so there was no risk for exposure by students and staff.
Schools regulated by the English Montreal School Board were inspected for asbestos about 10 years ago as well. A spokesman for the board said the costs to identify and remove the asbestos were in the millions, but it longer a threat for them now.
The EMSB also conducts regular full inspections of their buildings. Asbestos was found in one of its schools, St. Leonard’s Dante School, last year, and the area where it was found was sealed off until summer when they had a chance to remove it.
Asbestos was used as an insulation material in the province until the late 1970s. It was also used in other building materials such as floor and ceiling tiles.