Parents Won’t Send Kids Back to Asbestos-Laden School

Parents who pulled their kids out of an asbestos-filled elementary school in Montreal say they’re not sending them back again until the school gets a clean bill of health from air quality inspectors.

According to an article in the Montreal Gazette, the latest air quality tests showing asbestos dust in Greenfield Park International elementary school confirms their fears, parents told the media.

“Unless results are negative (for asbestos), I am not sending my kids back. That’s true for other parents [as well],” said Jacinthe Bouchard, who kept her two daughters home last week and has no intention of sending them back at this time.

Before the air quality tests were performed, about 20 Greenfield Park parents told school officials that their kids were constantly sick during the week, but not on the weekends. Most suffered with symptoms such as nausea, stomach cramps, and severe headaches. The parents banned together and decided that asbestos might be the cause.

Dr. Jocelyne Sauvé, director of public health at the Montérégie health and social services agency, said her agency is looking into the situation at the school.

Quebec’s Workplace Health and Safety Board ordered tests for asbestos contamination after the complaints were lodged. Levels of airborne asbestos were found to be lower than normal, board spokesperson Alexandra Reny said.

Nonetheless, the board closed the affected areas and demanded they be decontaminated by a specialized firm. The school is expected to reopen sometime this week.

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