High School Asbestos Concerns Linger

Parents and staff members at a Fullerton, California high school remained concerned about asbestos exposure, even after renovation projects have been completed.

Members of the Troy High School community met Monday at the school to hear Dr. R.J. Maurer, director of occupational health at St. Jude Medical Center, discuss health issues related to asbestos. Teachers, students, parents, and staff were worried about the residual effects of the asbestos-related carpet removal which took place at the school in 1999 as well as the two-year modernization process from 2005 to 2007, which may have released asbestos into the air, says an article in the Orange County Register.

Maurer gave an overview of air quality exposure and latency, said the article. He told the concerned crowd that in his more than 30 years of medical practice, he hadn’t encountered any patients with mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer. He explained that the disease remains latent for up to 40 years and that the majority of those affected have been employed in shipyards or other industries where they worked with the dangerous mineral on a daily basis.

Some disagree with the doctor’s opinion. Judy Haag, who has worked in a Troy office for 26 years, said she has been experiencing shortness of breath for three years.

“Over and over the doctors ask if I was exposed to asbestos and chemicals,” she said. “The vent above my desk was filled with white powdery stuff that fell out. But I’m more upset that those of us who used to work at Troy were not notified about this situation.”

The district maintains, however, that the amount of asbestos in the air was well within acceptable levels.

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