Island schools and government buildings still have asbestos
The government said repairs for the schools will be completed by the summer.
Some ceiling tiles in East Wiltshire school in Cornwall contain asbestos, and it's not the only building on the Island waiting to have them replaced.
There are two other schools and some government buildings, based on a public inventory list by the federal government, that still have asbestos in their walls and ceilings.
Windsor Wight, school principal at East Wiltshire school said the ceiling tiles were supposed to be removed this summer. But the contractor doing the work ran out of time.
Wight said the material is not causing any harm as long as it's not touched or moved.
"If we have anything that needs to be moved, any tiles have fallen or any changes that need to be made, we need to contact the Public Schools branch and they have people trained to come out and look after that for us," he said.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once popular in construction as a heat resistant and insulating material. Its use was widespread until it was banned as a health risk.
It is believed to pose little risk when it is encapsulated in housing materials that are in good condition. But when its fibers get into the air, inhaling them can cause irritation and inflammation of the lungs, which can lead to reduced lung function and serious forms of cancer.
Other buildings with asbestos
Queen Elizabeth School in Kensington also needs to have asbestos tiles removed, and renovations at Three Oaks School in Summerside will include work to get rid of the material.
At one time, there were nine schools on the Island needing repairs.
Buildings on the government's list include the Daniel J MacDonald building in Charlottetown and the city's RCMP headquarters on University Avenue.
- Check out this national inventory of federal buildings containing asbestos
- Canada-wide asbestos inventory 'a positive step,' say health and safety advocates
- Asbestos removal delayed at 2 P.E.I. schools
Parks Canada officials said small amounts of the substance were found in wall boards and some insulation in the basement of Province House, which is now under renovation.
A couple of smaller Parks Canada buildings will also need repairs. But most of the asbestos – found in wall boards and pipe insulation at some campgrounds and day use areas - was removed in the last five years, officials said.
Cost for school repairs higher than expected
The P.E.I. government originally budgeted $750,000 to remove the material from schools.
So far, the repairs cost more than expected but a final total won't be known until the renovations are completed next summer, said an official with the department of education in e-mail to CBC.
Wight said he already looks forward to the repairs at his school being done.
"I think it will be a sigh of relief," he said.
With files from Nancy Russell/CBC