By Kimberly Davis


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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Concerned parents are speaking out after the Philadelphia School District sent letters home stating that a classroom had “asbestos issues.” A concerned parent told Eyewitness News that of the nine rooms tested, one tested positive at Parkway Center City Middle College.

“This letter is to inform you of an asbestos issue that occurred in our school during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend,” reads the letter.

How long has the air in the classroom contained asbestos? Is my child now at risk of health issues?

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These are the questions a mother wants answered.

“Just really concerned about long-term effects, if there’s going to be on how how exposed were the children?” said a mother who asked to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions.

The mother said she is concerned for her 17-year-old son’s health.

“My concern is my child has been in this room for the last two years, three days a week,” she said.

In a letter sent home this week, the School District of Philadelphia told parents that air samples found elevated levels of asbestos in Room 501 on Jan. 19.

But parents are now worried about a possible long-term impact.

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“He was concerned,” the mother said of her son. “Just concerned about, ‘If I’ve already breathed this in, do I already have something? Am I going to have cancer in the future?'”

The school district has released a statement that reads, in part:

“In line with district protocol, a licensed asbestos abatement team properly removed all potential source of asbestos from the classroom, and cleaned the room with a HEPA vacuum and wet wipes. Air testing was then conducted to ensure the room was safe for re-occupancy.”

The district told Eyewitness News that each and every school is tested for asbestos every six months.

Kimberly Davis