A recent Union Leader news story covers asbestos finds in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Kingswood Regional school complex for both high and middle school grades, has been undergoing major renovations, remodels, additions and upgrades. Although original budget allowances provided for asbestos abatement, more asbestos materials than suspected were found in part of the older building. Asbestos containing ceiling material has been found and will need to be removed as well.
Asbestos, a naturally occurring substance, is known to cause severe respiratory illnesses including rare cancer mesothelioma. Heavily used through most of the last century in leading industrial countries including US, UK, Australia and Japan, health hazards associated with asbestos caused governments and health officials to put heavy restrictions and regulations on asbestos use. Today, much asbestos exposure in these countries is caused by unsafe or incomplete asbestos abatement or removal projects.
Malignant mesothelioma development begins once asbestos fibers are inhaled. These fibers can begin a mutative process in otherwise healthy tissues leading to malignant tumor development. Mesothelioma is characterized by a latency period ranging from twenty to fifty years during which no major external symptoms are recognized. When symptoms so demonstrate, decades after asbestos exposure, they mimic those of bronchitis or pneumonia, making mesothelioma difficult to diagnose properly.
Kingswood Regional School is scheduled to reopen September 19 for grades 7 to 12. This postpones the regular start date by two weeks. School administrators are planning to make up for lost days as the year progresses.
Above all, local leadership and the community are thankful the new and improved facility will be safe, sound and asbestos free.