Potential ‘limited’ exposure to asbestos at Ancaster High, says Hamilton’s public school board

Hamilton’s public school board is alerting students and staff at Ancaster High School that they may have been briefly exposed to asbestos.

In a letter to families on Monday, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board said asbestos was disturbed in the ceiling of a hallway outside the East Wing cafeteria while a contractor was investigating a concern related to the HVAC system last Thursday.

While the work began last week and was done in a controlled environment — with the hallway inaccessible to staff and students — the potential exposure happened “for a limited time” on Monday once it was re-opened.

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The board said it has engaged an outside environmental agency to conduct air samplings and said it will share the results with the school community once they come back.

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Until then, the hallway will be closed and the board said it’s taking “necessary precautions” to prevent future occurrences.

The board said the possible exposure at Ancaster High was limited in scope and duration, and that the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety reports that people are more likely to experience asbestos-related disorders if they are exposed to high concentrations of asbestos, exposed for a long period of time and on a regular basis.

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Ask an expert: Asbestos – Oct 20, 2019

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