School district blasted for handling of asbestos
Parents, elected officials and even health experts say the Patchogue-Medford School District did not handle the removal of asbestos from one of its school buildings properly, and they?re calling for someone to take accountability.
Superintendent Michael Mostow insists parents were informed about an asbestos removal project at Eagle Elementary School last month. A notice on the district's Web site says air testing was done last month and that the school is safe. However, parents that spoke to News 12 Long Island say they knew nothing about it.
The district did hire an asbestos removal company to remove asbestos tiles over the Easter break, but that was only after it was reprimanded for ordering a school employee to get rid of the tiles. The New York State Labor Department gave the district two violations.
News 12 obtained photographs showing a possible asbestos problem at the school. David Pinto, owner of Great American Restoration Services, says a photo of a classroom during the initial cleanup raises several red flags, especially since the district didn't cover the children's desks and supplies. He says those items need to be treated and should be considered contaminated. Asbestos fibers could also be released during the actual removal of the tiles, which Pinto says the district did not guard against.
Parents say they want school officials to come clean.
?The principal better take care of this and he better let parents know because this is absolutely ridiculous,? says parent Christina Santos.
Assemblywoman Patricia Eddington (D-Medford) tells News 12 she is calling for an investigation of the school district.