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7 P.E.I. schools found with asbestos in ceiling tiles

Low levels of asbestos have been found in the ceiling tiles of seven schools in Prince Edward Island.

'We have been assured by Health Canada that there is no significant health risk'

Glen Stewart Primary School is one of the seven schools found to have low levels of asbestos in some ceiling tiles. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

Low levels of asbestos have been found in the ceiling tiles of seven schools in Prince Edward Island.

The schools are Three Oaks High School, East Wiltshire Intermediate School, Eliot River Elementary School, St.Louis Elementary School, Glen Stewart Primary School, Central Queens Elementary School and Queen Elizabeth Elementary.

Bob Andrews says there is no significant health risk if the materials containing asbestos are properly managed. (CBC)
English Language School Board acting superintendent Bob Andrews said inspections were carried out in 28 schools after low levels of asbestos in the tiles were found at Three Oaks High School.

Crews found the asbestos while doing preparation work for renovations at the high school.

The 28 schools where ceiling tiles had been installed before 1990 were inspected and the tiles in seven schools tested positive.

"We have been assured by Health Canada that there is no significant health risk if the materials containing asbestos, in this case our acoustic lay-in tiles, are properly managed and maintained in good condition," said Andrews.

"We have asked staff not to move or alter any ceiling tiles and if we do need to move or alter any ceiling tiles that we would have authorized staff who are trained to do so, to do any of the alterations or moving of them," he said.

He said if that protocol is followed, there is no risk to students or staff.

Letters were sent home to parents advising them of the situation.

Andrews said the school board is working with other government departments to develop the best course of action.

The situation will be monitored to determine if leaving the tiles will be OK, or if the tiles will eventually need to be replaced.

Andrews said if the board felt there was a risk to students, further measures would be taken.

According to Health Canada's website "breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases," but the site also says, "There are no significant health risks if materials containing asbestos in your home are: tightly bound in products and are in good condition, sealed behind walls and floorboards, isolated in an attic, left undisturbed."

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