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7 Things to Know About Asbestos Exposure in Scranton Schools

The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry estimates that roughly 27 million employees suffered asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania between the 1940s and the 1980s. Since then, most people have come to understand the dangers of asbestos exposure and the chronic, life-threatening nature of asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma.

Asbestos exposure fears aren’t a thing of the past, either. The Scranton, PA School District recently discovered an alleged asbestos cover-up. According to the lawsuit, at least three former employees concealed the presence of unsafe lead levels in the drinking water of at least ten schools that had asbestos materials concealed in the ceilings, walls, and other locations.

Our Halpern Law Firm team created this guide to the seven things you need to know about asbestos exposure in Scranton schools. If you or a loved one suffered from asbestos exposure in Scranton or another Pennsylvania town, you might be entitled to compensation. For more information, reach out to our team today at (800) 505-6000 for a free consultation.

What Is Asbestos?

Before discussing everything you need to know about asbestos exposure in Scranton, PA, let us first define asbestos and consider its risks.

Asbestos is a mineral made of flexible, heat and corrosion-resistant fibers. Companies formerly added the mineral to cement, plastic, paper, and other materials to strengthen them. Asbestos became a vital element in industrial and building construction companies for many decades in the mid-20th century.

However, scientists later discovered that, when disturbed and inhaled, asbestos fibers can become trapped in the lungs, heart, and abdomen. Over time, lodged asbestos fibers may cause inflammatory diseases, progressive illnesses like asbestosis, and a type of cancer called mesothelioma.

Unfortunately, researchers didn’t discover the risks of asbestos for decades after millions of people had been in extended contact with the mineral, resulting in widespread exposure throughout the United States.

 

7 Things You Need to Know About Scranton, PA, Asbestos Exposure

 

1. The State of Pennsylvania filed criminal charges against three employees accused of concealing asbestos in Scranton schools.

In September 2020, the State of Pennsylvania charged three former Scranton School District employees with endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment.

The charges stated that the defendants allegedly knew of unsafe levels of lead in the school district’s drinking water and asbestos in city schools, and they went out of their way to conceal or minimize the presence of both harmful substances.

2. More than 10,000 students and 700 teachers may have unknowingly received exposure to asbestos each year.

The Scranton School District comprises nearly 700 teachers and 10,000 students. According to evidence, the defendants may have hidden their knowledge of asbestos from students, parents, teachers, and other employees for several years, resulting in an increased risk of exposure, illness, and death.

3. School ceilings collapsed, directly exposing students and teachers to asbestos dust.

According to the case evidence, a Scranton principal reported multiple collapsed ceilings in Scranton schools. When the ceilings collapsed, they dropped plaster and asbestos dust on students. Further, the collapses caused the dust to circulate through the hallways and classrooms of the schools.

4. Testing also found unsafe levels of lead in water fountains and sinks in Scranton city schools.

In 2016, an environmental engineer uncovered unsafe levels of lead in the school district’s drinking water. When the engineer returned in 2018 and 2019 for further testing, he still found evidence of lead in the school district’s water.

5. Other Pennsylvania schools have had rampant, documented asbestos problems in recent years.

Multiple schools in the Philadelphia School District closed down in early 2020 due to asbestos. A Philadelphia school teacher has since reported a mesothelioma diagnosis after teaching for multiple decades in the district.

6. Three current and former district employees filed a civil case alleging that the Scranton School District ignored the presence and risks of asbestos.

In response to the alleged cover-up, a group of Scranton School District employees has filed a claim that district officials knew about the lead and asbestos for years but hid their presence. The district has attempted to dismiss the claim, arguing that the employees do not have a constitutional right to a safe, healthy work environment.

7. You May Have a Case If You Suffered From Asbestos Exposure in the Scranton School District

Have you or a loved one suffered from asbestos exposure in the Scranton, PA, school district? If so, you could qualify for damages or compensation.

For more information, contact the Halpern Law Firm team today at (800) 505-6000 for a free consultation with one of our experienced Scranton, PA, asbestos attorneys. Our team will work with you to understand your circumstances and assist you in filing a claim for compensation to help you restore your quality of life after suffering from the effects of asbestos exposure. Call today.

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