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 undisturbed 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.
The law further requires asbestos management plans to be in place by July 1989. The Howell Township Board of Education developed plans, as required, which have been continually updated. The plans have 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 to deal 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 (6) months to assure that they remain in good condition.
It is the intention of the Howell Township Board of Education to comply with all federal and state regulations controlling asbestos and to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure students and employees a healthy and safe environment in which to learn and work. You are welcome to review a copy of the asbestos management plan in the school district administrative office or administrative office of the school during regular business hours. Mr. Jeffrey Sharp of the Howell Township Board of Education is our designed asbestos program coordinator, and all inquiries regarding the asbestos plan and asbestosrelated issues should be directed to him at (732) 751-2499.