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Conn. students suffer asbestos exposure

October 5th, 2006

Four students from the Platt Technical School in Connecticut were exposed to a small amount of asbestos while performing a repair job outside of the classroom. Students from the school’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning program were removing the furnace at the home of a local woman when the exposure occurred.

Platt spokesman Tom Murphy says that while removing the furnace, the four students and their teacher uncovered a cardboard-like substance. Although an asbestos test on the substance came back negative, the students still took extra precautions while removing the material, donning masks and gloves. It was later discovered that the substance did, in fact, contain asbestos.

Although the students were exposed to only a small amount of asbestos—which was not airborne—the school sent letters home to parents explaining the incident. Airborne asbestos is known to cause several serious illnesses, including mesothelioma and lung cancer.

As a result of the incident, Platt has amended its policies in order to better protect students when a suspicious substance is found. “If there’s any possibility, even a glimpse of a possibility, then we’re going to stop and test,” Murphy says.

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