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Asbestos Found In Middle School
February 20, 2008

Anthony, N.M. -- An asbestos notice posted at Gadsden Middle School has parents worried about their children's health, but the school district said the asbestos does not pose any sort of danger. More than a thousand feet walk on the floors of Gadsden Middle School everyday, but it's the material in the school's flooring that prompted an asbestos notice. The notice has been posted in the school since 2004. Despite the scary title, administrators said there's nothing to worry about.

"The asbestos is contained, in other words, it is encapsulated. It is not exposed. It is not flying. Staff and students or anybody that walks in is completely safe in our buildings at Gadsden ISD," said Art Ruiloba, the spokesman for Gadsden Independent School District.

Contractors with the school told KFOX asbestos only becomes a danger when its fibers become airborne. The asbestos at Gadsden Middle is sealed in the flooring and is safe. Parents said any asbestos is too much.

Gabriela Marquez is the mother of two. She said, "I don't see how they can't breath it in. The kids are walking on those hallways all day long. It is kind of an oxymoron, they are walking down there and they are going to breath it in."

Mando Villalobos is a father. He agrees, saying, "I'm not sure if the kids are safe or not. It is hard to tell. How can you tell? I mean how can you be 100 percent sure that it is safe?"

Gadsden Middle School officials said they are taking steps to get rid of the harmful material altogether .

"Part of the plan is to remove the asbestos. We contract with a third party who specializes in asbestos removal to remove the asbestos," Ruiloba said.

Gadsden Middle School will undergo construction over the summer and that is when the floors will be redone and all of the asbestos will be removed.

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