ABC 7 Chicago reports that a Philadelphia teacher says that she developed cancer due to asbestos exposure in schools.
Lea Di Russo is planning to file a lawsuit against the School District of Philadelphia after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. DiRusso, 51, alleges that during her thirty years as a teacher with the school district, she has worked at two schools with documented asbestos problems. Most recently, she was a teacher at Meredith Elementary School. She’s had to quit teaching due to her diagnosis.
The school district and teacher’s unions have called in an expert to investigate the complaints about asbestos in Philadelphia schools. Superintendent Dr. William Hite ordered a visual inspection of every school to be completed by December 20th.
A rally was scheduled for November 21st to take place outside school district headquarters to demand more attention be paid to asbestos in Philadelphia schools.
Asbestos is a heat-resistant, fibrous silicate material that can be woven into fabrics. It is used in fire-resistant and insulating materials. Unfortunately, asbestos can be hazardous to health. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they can become trapped in mucous membranes, where they can then pass into the lungs and digestive tract. Once inside the lungs and digestive organs, asbestos cannot be removed. They can then lead to the development of health issues such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Lung cancer and mesothelioma are two of the more serious diseases that are directly linked to asbestos exposure.
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