Kids and Asbestos: What They Need to Know

Even though an asbestos warning sign was recently placed on a fence in a West Dunbartonshire, Scotland neighborhood, local teenagers are still hopping over the fence during their school lunch hour. This has neighbors and parents and worried, and brings up worldwide concerns regarding just how little teenagers may know about the dangers of asbestos.

According to reports, asbestos was found by contractors who were working on the demolition of the St. Eunan’s Primary School. Although council informed local news reporters and social media sites, residents are upset that they were not told directly.

In addition, the area is still being used by teens from a local high school who leave campus for lunch. Residents state that a broken fence was never repaired, which is how the teens take a shortcut through the asbestos-filled site.

“All the council has done is put up a number of posters telling people to keep out. The council has failed to repair the wall which is used as a shortcut by kids,” said John McLean, a resident who lives close to the site.

In addition, residents are urging more education and information for parents and teens on the dangers of asbestos.

“Usually, the kids from the high school come down and scale the fence on their way to McDonalds at lunch time. Thankfully, there was someone there the other day to stop them — but there can’t be someone there all the time. There needs to be more warnings put up,” said resident Jamie Roberts.

Schools and Buildings Are Still Littered with Asbestos

Although the aforementioned incident occurred in Scotland, there are a myriad of old schools, buildings, and even old household appliances in the United States that contain asbestos. Since malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses are still considered relatively new in the medical world, children and teenagers may not know enough information about the dangers of asbestos and how to avoid it. It’s recommended that all parents, educators, and loved ones tell teens and children of the dangers of asbestos and what to do help avoid it:

  • Explain that asbestos is a cancer-causing mineral that was once used heavily in the construction of schools, homes, and buildings
  • Explain that old structures should be avoided at all times
  • Do not allow children to drink from old, public water fountains, as older pipes may contain asbestos that can leak into the water
  • Do not allow children to play around furnaces or any other appliances that were built prior to the 1980s’

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), children have much more time to be exposed to asbestos when compared to adults, so it’s important that they understand the high risks associated with inhaling asbestos. Its fine fibers are odorless and undetectable by the human eye, and people are unaware when its been inhaled or ingested. Furthermore, although it has not been conclusive yet, scientists speculate that since children breathe differently than adults, they may have a heightened chance of breathing in more asbestos.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more. For more details, contact our experienced mesothelioma law firm for a free, no-obligation case consultation.

Sources:

http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2014/10/01/511307-teens-ignoring-asbestos-warnings-in-clydebank/

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/noa/docs/Asbestos%20FAQ_ENG_web.pdf

 

 

 

 

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