May 18, 2011 – Tests performed on April 22 at a Philadelphia elementary school revealed high levels of asbestos, a building material linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma. The students were moved to another building two blocks away. Further testing will be done and the children will not return to the building until the results are complete and a remediation plan is developed and completed.
The tests were conducted as part of routine testing at the Benjamin Franklin Elementary School annex in Pilgrim Baptist Church in the Crescentville section of Philadelphia. The school began using the church space as an annex in 2003. Though testing is conducted every six months, school officials say this is the first time abnormally high levels of asbestos were detected.