Checking into Trailer Safety
We spoke to the company that manufacters the trailers purchase by APS and the official comment was that in builing the trailers they follow all federal and state safety guidelines. However, they do not take resonsibility for checking air quality after the trailers have been delivered. For parents or teachers who are concerned about the issue we recommend you contact the Arlington Public School System.
Some good news on the the front is that th APS Career Center is looking into building its verison of portable classrooms with students. The plan is to use recycled materialreuseable, which some experts say will greatly decrease the concern of off gasing from newly manufactured building materials. More to come…
Superintendent Senior Staff
Or the School Board
We were told that opting out of having a child in a trailer must be done on a case by case basis.
We asked Sally Baird, School Board Member in her second term, to comment on whether or not environmental air quality tests would be held by an independent agency for Formaldehyde and other cancer and asthma causing agents within the trailers? If so, what is the company name and when will testing begin. Also will students with asthma be able to opt out of trailer classrooms?
Her answer “The manufacturer relays to us that the trailers are manufactured to be within all state and federal health and safety standards and, as such, are deemed safe and within acceptable level of airborne agents. Staff is working on getting written documentation from the manufacturer on this point.
The question of whether a student could “opt out” of trailer classrooms for medical reasons would be handled on a case-by-case basis, and would be worked through as would any student need for special accommodation.”
We clarified that at this point, no independent studies will be done by the schools system?
Our last two questions for Sally were…
Can you provide us with the manufacturers name?
Also how many trailers can we expect total?
“The manufacturer is Diamond Builders Inc. (in Douglass, Georgia). We are adding six 4-classroom complexes and four single classroom units, so 28 classrooms in all.”
We intend to continue to ask questions and push for safety and testing. That said, many parents may even have questions of their own. We would love to hear your thoughts.
One thing seems clear a proactive discussion needs happen now to address opting out. In the meantime… Parents, teachers and citizens need to be informed about the potential hazards that can exist in portable classrooms, they are not all built the same. As simple AOL/Yahoo/ Bing/Google search or a visit to the EPA website is a good place to start.
More to come…