February 29, 2012
Asbestos Confirmed at Chiddix Junior High
Abatement plan needed
SPRINGFIELD – At the request of Community Unit School District #5, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) investigated Chiddix Junior High in Normal after independent air tests confirmed the presence of asbestos in 10 classrooms.
To protect the health and safety of students, teachers and staff, the department recommends the district immediately evacuate and isolate all contaminated classrooms. After isolating the classrooms, the district needs to work with licensed asbestos professionals to develop a plan to properly address all asbestos materials in the school and to immediately abate those areas which pose a health risk. Occupying the affected classrooms is a serious safety and health risk
Asbestos is considered a serious indoor air pollutant with links to such serious respiratory diseases as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. There is no safe level of asbestos.
Asbestos was used in many products that were installed in Illinois' schools and commercial buildings for decades. However, in the mid-1980s, new state and federal legislation required schools be inspected for asbestos and plans for its management be developed. The department reviews asbestos management plans for elementary and secondary schools and inspects abatement projects to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.
The department will continue to work with Community Unit School District #5 to ensure the health and safety of students, teachers and staff at Chiddix Junior High.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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