Hamilton’s Sir Allan MacNab school cancels classes due to asbestos concerns

Classes at Sir Allan MacNab S.S. cancelled Tuesday, citing asbestos concerns. Dave Woodard, Global News

Classes were suspended Tuesday at a high school on Hamilton’s west mountain.

A statement released by the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board on Tuesday stated that Sir Allan MacNab Secondary School would be closed immediately and for the remainder of the day, due to an ‘investigation into a breach of asbestos.’

The statement also said students were being dismissed; parents and guardians were able to pick up their child at the recreation centre.

The HWDSB reopened the school on Wednesday after an investigation determined the potential for exposure was limited.

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“A thin non-friable application of asbestos-containing compound/paint is located on the concrete block walls,” principal Greg Clark explained in a letter to parents.

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“On Saturday, April 30, a contractor used a power tool to fasten clips into the concrete block walls at each window in all classrooms, which may have disturbed the asbestos-containing material.”

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety says asbestos-related health disorders include fibrotic lung disease (asbestosis) and changes in the lining of the chest cavity (pleura).

The diseases can lead to reduced respiratory function and death. Long-term inhalation of asbestos fibres also increases the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Clark is asking guardians to contact a family doctor should there be any health concerns.

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