Parents Worry about Asbestos in Georgia School

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Students attending summer school at Collins Elementary in Collins, Georgia – near Savannah – may be risking their health, says a story aired by WTOC Savannah. That’s because school officials recently reported that asbestos was uncovered during renovation work to the ceiling.

“I worry about his health every day,” said Amanda Reese, whose son is attending summer classes at Collins. “But to worry about his health at school with an asbestos problem, that’s just overwhelming.”

Reese and others said they were unhappy about the explanation they received from the school in regards to the asbestos situation.

“The principal said, ‘oh yeah it’s there but we have a special contractor to work around it,’ but I don’t think that helps,” said Tracey Hines, another parent.

Principals for both the elementary and middle school said that renovations were in a building not used for summer school. However, they noted, they requested an air quality test from the Statesboro office of the Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) anyway.

“Which we are doing this week and hope to have the results back next week,” stated elementary principal Dr. Jeanie Burkhalter. “But no students have been in the construction area when the work was going on.”

Burkhalter says each room has its own air conditioning system, but parents feared that their kids walking through the lobby and other parts of the building might be enough to result in the inhalation of dangerous fibers.

A spokesperson for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division said he could not say without investigation whether or not students would have been exposed from such limited access.