Skip to main content

Massive Asbestos Waste Found Just Feet from California High School

Large quantities of asbestos and other hazardous waste products were found at a facility just hundreds of feet away from Mountain View High School, officials announced on Thursday.
In a combined effort, the state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) are investigating the illegal waste transport facility where between 600 and 800 bags of asbestos and toxic waste were found.
Titan Environmental Inc. is the company being investigated for the waste violation. It may face penalties of $25,000 for each day that the company operated, says the DTSC.
California law prohibits that any hazardous waste facility be located within 500 feet of any school.

Asbestos removal and transport handled part of the job in Irvine CA.

Asbestos exposure has been known to cause diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and other conditions.
Local officials, parents and students learned about the waste violation today via recorded phone message, according to school officials.

Threat to Students

The dangers of asbestos have been well understood since the 1960s, but he material was used in various products that were manufactured before then. The waste products located at Titan's facility haven't been specifically identified.
"They were not supposed to be storing waste there. They were operating as a hazardous waste transporter and they did not have the proper permits," said Jeanne Garcia of the DTSC, referring to Titan Environmental Inc.
Air samples were taken by AQMD after the discovery was made in February, but asbestos fibers were not found to be present in the samples.
Titan is located just northwest of the high school's football field and running track. Exposure of the hazardous waste could presumptively occur between areas near the school or in the school, if the toxic materials were not properly packaged.
Asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma have been known to take up to 50 years to develop after initial exposure. However, because local environmental officials have cited that 'no asbestos is being released,' the nearby community and students are stated to be at no risk of health issues.
Both agencies now have been tasked with developing a plan to properly dispose of the toxic waste.
"We are still in the throes of an investigation," said Garcia.
Officials from both environmental agencies met with school personnel last week to discuss the issue. Superintendent Nick Salerno stated that no students or staff of Mountain View High School have reported feeling sick.
"We are counting on them [DTSC and AQMD] to do a good job. It sounded like they did."
The investigation stems from an anonymous complaint that the DTSC received on February 8 that mentioned Titan. The tip prompted an unannounced inspection on February 11 of the waste transport facility.

Asbestos in Schools: A Bigger Problem

This incident is not the first report of asbestos in or around schools. Cases of potential asbestos exposure have been discovered at schools across the nation, from the elementary to the university level.
In September 2011, a New York City elementary school had to evacuate and relocate 100 kindergarten students after asbestos was found in the school.
In 2008 a Massachusetts high school had to undergo massive asbestos abatement during a reconstruction project. Officials spent a total of $14 million for a demolition, up from the estimated $7.2 million, after asbestos was found throughout various walls in the school.
More recently and more local to Mountain View High School, California State University Northridge was found to have asbestos in 18 different buildings on the campus in January of this year.
The list goes on.
The history of asbestos use in schools dates back to the widespread use of the material in construction products, which was a prevalent during the mid-20th century. Because of its insulating and heat-resistant properties, the toxic material was desirable for integration into walls, piping, flooring, tiling and countless other products.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bottled Water Carries Hidden Cost to Earth

Good for You, Bad for Mother Earth? | $1.79 might seem like a small price to pay for a bottle of water. But it costs the Earth far more than that.

Compared to a liter of tap water, producing a liter of bottled water requires as much as 2,000 times more energy, according to the first analysis of its kind. The study also found that our nation's bottled water habit sucked up the equivalent of 32 to 54 million barrels of oil last year.

"The bottom line is that we should understand better the implications of our choices," said Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, Calif. "It suggests more ways to reduce energy use than maybe we otherwise think of."

Bottled water is a big business that is rapidly getting bigger. From 1976 to 2007, the average amount of bottled water drunk per person per year in the United States jumped from about 6 liters (1.6 gallons) to 116 liters (30.6 gallons).

In 2007, …


Air pollution can cause serious health problems. Rarely, it can even kill people — and we’re not exaggerating. That’s why we care so much about the laws that protect us from air pollution. Read on to learn more about the specific parts of our bodies that are affected by air pollution. Air pollution can be made of tiny particles or gases, and these get into your body when you breathe. Different types of air pollution do different things inside your body. Air pollution can directly irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, before it even gets into the lungs. It can cause runny nose, itchy eyes, and scratchy throat. LUNGS When you breathe in, air moves through your nose or mouth, down your throat into your trachea, and then into your lungs. Pollution can irritate the airways. When that happens, muscles around the bronchi get tight; the lining of the bronchi swell; and the bronchi produce excess mucous. When the airways are constricted, it b…

Hazardous Waste

A hazardous waste is a waste with a chemical composition or other properties that make it capable of causing illness, death, or some other harm to humans and other life forms when mismanaged or released into the environment. PLEASE NOTE This new page is part of our Hazardous Waste Management Program web page update process and is under construction. The links to the left will take you to the main Hazardous Waste page, as well as the general category pages, and the Related Links are those links related to the content on the page.  longer be available.  DEFINING HAZARDOUS WASTE A waste is a hazardous waste if it is a listed waste, characteristic waste, used oil and mixed wastes. Specific procedures determine how waste is identified, classified, listed, and delisted. TYPES OF HAZARDOUS WASTE Hazardous waste is divided into different types (e.g., universal waste) or categories, including RCRA hazardous waste and non-RCRA hazardous waste. Properly categorizing a hazardous waste is necessary f…