West Haven officials address concerns over asbestos - WFSB 3 Connecticut

West Haven officials address concerns over asbestos

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Parents raised concerns about asbestos at West Haven High School (WFSB) Parents raised concerns about asbestos at West Haven High School (WFSB)

Parents are concerned about asbestos in a West Haven school after cameras were installed in an effort to keep students safe.

Parents cited a recent report detailing potential exposure following work over the past summer.

At the time, security cameras were being installed at the school, but the superintendent claims students are safe.

On Monday, the mayor told parents they have nothing to worry about, and said the city was told by the state last year that there is no need to be concerned about asbestos.

When it came up again recently, they decided to have it inspected again. 

"I'm just a mom trying to look out for my daughter and the other kids in the city,” said Bridgette Hoskie, who attended a city council meeting in West Haven Monday night.

According to the report from Dunn Environmental Inspections, "The project was not reviewed by an asbestos project designer or an asbestos management planner as required by Connecticut and EPA regulations." 

"It was a flawed report done by environmental, but given the safety concerns of the parents, we had it re-inspected by a different company,” said West Haven Mayor Ed O’Brien.

He said the inspection done last week tells a different story; one he hopes will put parents’ minds at ease.

"That report came back that there was no asbestos disrupted, again there was no new wire pulled so they put in a box that takes the place of pulling the wire, they didn't have to pull the wire because technology changed, there was talk of holes being drilled, there were no holes again not disturbing any asbestos and that the school was safe,” O’Brien said.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Department of Public Health said "In November of 2016, DPH was made aware that a security camera installation performed at West Haven High School in June of 2016 when school was not in session may have unintentionally disturbed asbestos-containing materials that are located in areas above the school's ceilings.  At no time was asbestos observed below the ceiling in the occupied portions of the school.  Since the completion of this installation project, the school was thoroughly cleaned, including stripping and waxing of the floors and cleaning of all lockers and walls, as is standard protocol during summer break.  Additionally, during a project unrelated to the security camera installation project, forty air samples were collected in the school between July and August, 2016, and no asbestos was detected on any of the samples.  While DPH continues to work with the school and other involved parties to review the project, there is no reason to believe the school population was exposed to asbestos as a result of the work done on this project.  Following DPH's on-site review of the school in November 2016, DPH determined that the school remains safe to occupy, with no expected exposure to asbestos at any level."

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