Medford man: Video shows asbestos in school

A Medford man captured undercover video he says shows parts of a local elementary school covered in asbestos, a fact that some claim the Patchogue-Medford School District is trying to cover up. That

News 12 Staff

May 21, 2009, 12:49 AM

Updated 5,532 days ago

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A Medford man captured undercover video he says shows parts of a local elementary school covered in asbestos, a fact that some claim the Patchogue-Medford School District is trying to cover up.
That video was obtained exclusively by News 12 Long Island and was shown to asbestos experts. Eugene Roos says he shot the video inside Eagle Elementary School and got samples tested to sound the alarm on a major health problem for students and staff.
"The saddest thing here is all of these students play with all this equipment - balls, footballs - and things they keep [in] close contact with their mouth and nose,? Roos says.
The test results, also examined by News 12 Long Island, show the samples turned up positive for asbestos. Tests reveal material obtained from the hallway near the music room and the main entrance has more than 100 times the level of asbestos allowed by government safety limits.
A custodian, who did not want to be identified, told News 12 Long Island that district officials know there?s an asbestos problem. He works in many of the district?s schools and says children and staff have been breathing in toxic material for years. Another custodian who used to work at the school says he was ordered to clean up some of the asbestos but wasn?t given protective gear.
?You can see it up in the ceiling when you are changing a light or a ceiling tile,? the custodian says. ?You feel the wind go by; you know this stuff is there.?
David Pinto, who owns the licensed asbestos removal company Great American Restoration Services, also looked at the test results and photos of the school. He says the loose material hanging off of a pipe in one of the photographs ?could very well lead to an asbestos release.?
Principal Neil Katz would not comment and directed News 12 to school Superintendent Michael Mostow, who says the building is safe. A statement on the district?s Web site says recent air testing showed no airborne asbestos.


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