Asbestos HazardEmergency Response Act
Dear Parents, Teachers, and Building Occupants:
In the past, asbestos was used extensively in building materials because of its insulating, sound absorbing, and fire retarding capabilities. Virtually any building constructed before the late 1970s contained some asbestos. Intact and un-disturbed asbestos materials generally do not pose a health risk. Asbestos materials, however, can become hazardous when, due to damage or deterioration over time, they release fibers. If the fibers are inhaled, they can lead to health problems, such as cancer and asbestosis.
In 1986, Congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), which requires schools to be inspected to identify any asbestos containing building materials. Suspected asbestos-containing building materials were located, sampled (or assumed) and rated according to condition and potential hazard. Every three years, The Westwood Regional School District has conducted are-inspection to determine whether the condition of the known or assumed asbestos containing building materials (ACBM) has changed and to make recommendations on managing or removing the ACBM.
The law further required that an asbestos management plan be in place by July1989. The Westwood Regional School District developed a plan, as required, which has been continually updated. The plan has several ongoing requirements publish a notification on management plan availability and the status of asbestos activities, educate and train its employees about asbestos and how todeal with it, notify short-term or temporary workers on the locations of the asbestos containing building materials, post warning labels in routine maintenance areas where asbestos was previously identified or assumed, follow set plans and procedures designed to minimize the disturbance of asbestos containing building materials, and survey the condition of these materials every six months to assure that they remain in good condition.
It is the intention of The Westwood regional School District to comply with all federal and state regulations controlling asbestos and to take whatever steps necessary to ensure students and employees a healthy and safe environment inwhich to learn and work. You are welcome to review a copy of the asbestos management plan in the school district administrative office or the administrative office at each school during regular business hours.