Following an asbestos scare at Galer Elementary School in Laurel Bay, South Carolina, classrooms were sealed. A white, flaky substance was discovered beneath a sink cabinet at the elementary school.
The material was found during an evaluation of environmental conditions at Galer Elementary School, as well as Bolden Elementary/Middle schools, reports The Island Packet. The testing began in February.
When the substance was discovered, samples were sent to the laboratory for testing. The samples tested negative for asbestos, however, a second phase of testing was required by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The second round of testing came back negative as well.
The second phase of testing involved monitoring indoor air quality and taking mold samples. Bruce W. Jeter, the Defense Department’s dependent elementary and secondary school director noted that school officials are relieved the test results we’re negative. "We didn’t waste any time and treated the areas as though they did contain a hazardous substance. We have an obligation to ensure our facilities are safe and secure for our students, employees, families and visitors,” he said.
Asbestos is a toxic material, found in many older buildings. When disturbed, the toxic particles can pose a serious health risk to those exposed. Such exposure has been known to cause several diseases, including malignant mesothelioma.
For those diagnosed with theasbestos cancer, mesothelioma treatment tends to arrive late. For symptoms of the disease, such as chest pain and shortness of breath, lie dormant for several decades.
The second phase of test results will be released in a month.