Phoenix, AZ – All school campuses in the Tempe Union High School District will undergo asbestos retesting because school officials are unable to find the records with the details of an asbestos removal that took place 15 years ago.
The new project, which includes inspection and testing, is expected to cost less than $10,000.
The incident that set off the recent community concerns over asbestos occurred at Corona del Sol High School. Asbestos was discovered in blocks in one of the canopy structures outside.
A licensed contractor was hired to remove the blocks after school students and staff had left for the day to ensure that they did not become exposed. Parents saw the workers in protective gear on school grounds and became worried about the incident.
When inquired about the presence of asbestos in the schools, district officials realized that they could not locate the documents verifying the asbestos removal that was performed in 1993. This led to parents questioning whether the district had taking care of other potential problems such as mold.
All schools are legally required to abide by the rules set forth in the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA). The act required that an original inspection be conducted and that follow-up inspections take place every three years. Additionally, the act required that schools maintain an asbestos management plan, which would be kept at the school.
The district has spent the past several months cleaning and making repairs to combat air quality and mold issues. The bulk of work has been done during summer break.
The district said it would do everything to ensure the health and safety of students, stafff, and visitors, including the testing of all schools in the district.