In the past, asbestos was used extensively in building materials because of its insulating, sound-absorbing, and fire-retarding capabilities. Prior to 1980, asbestos was widely used as a building material. 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 have been located, sampled (or assumed) and rated according to condition and potential hazard. Every three years, North Pocono conducts a re-inspection by a Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry licensed asbestos inspector to determine whether the condition of the known or assumed asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM) has changed and to make recommendations on managing or removing the ACBM. Periodic surveillance of all identified asbestos-containing materials occurs every six months.
As required, the North Pocono School District has developed a plan, and that plan is continually updated. The plan has several ongoing requirements: publish a notification on management plan availability and the status of asbestos activities; educate and train employees about asbestos and how to deal with it; follow set plans and procedures designed to minimize the disturbance of asbestos-containing building materials; and perform routine surveillance.
It is the intention of the District 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 school district administrative office during regular business hours. The district's designed asbestos program coordinator is the Director of Buildings and Grounds, who can be reached at (570) 842-3039: all inquiries regarding the asbestos plan and asbestos-related issues can be directed there.