Report finds mold, asbestos, lead dust in Philly schools


A newspaper investigation has found that more than half of Philadelphia’s public elementary schools have serious environmental hazards like lead dust, mold spores and asbestos fibers.

In a series that began this week, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News said a review of building and other internal records identified more than 9,000 environmental problems across the district since September 2015.

The papers say 80 of the city’s 148 elementary schools had at least 50 reports of environmental hazards.

The newspapers also enlisted staffers at some run-down elementary schools to do their own testing. High levels of cancer-causing asbestos fibers were found on surfaces in classrooms, gymnasiums, auditoriums and hallways.

School officials took issue with their testing methods. They say it will take $3 billion over 10 years to build new schools and finish all urgent repairs.


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