Understanding Asbestos

Learn from an expert!

Dr Arthur Frank is an internationally renowned expert on environmental and occupational health. He has studied asbestos and its effects for over 50 years. Currently he is a Drexel University professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health and travels the world studying and sharing knowledge about asbestos issues. 

AHERA Inspections

The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requires the School District (SDP) to inspect schools for asbestos-containing building material and prepare management plans that make recommendations for the reduction of asbestos hazards. For more information about AHERA rules, the responsibilities of the District and asbestos itself, please visit the EPA’s website.

Specifically, AHERA rules require SDP to take the following actions:

  • Perform an original inspection and re-inspection every three years of asbestos-containing material
  • Develop, maintain, and update an asbestos management plan and keep a copy at the school
  • Provide yearly notification to parent, teacher, and employee organizations regarding the availability of the school’s asbestos management plan and any asbestos abatement actions taken or planned in the school
  • Designate a contact person to ensure the responsibilities of the local education agency are properly implemented
  • Perform periodic surveillance of known or suspected asbestos-containing building material
  • Ensure that properly-accredited professionals perform inspections and response actions and prepare management plans
  • Provide custodial staff with asbestos-awareness training

SDP’s Office of Environmental Management & Services implements programming that complies with the AHERA requirements. The District’s AHERA Coordinator is a Pennsylvania-licensed AHERA Building Inspector and Management Planner.


How to read the reports:

Each report contains a lot of information. Here, in order to help you navigate the reports, we outline the information that is most important to parents and families. The Executive Summary, sections 1 through 5, contains the first group of tables that give a snapshot of all of the materials in the building. When you click on a report below, look for the following tables in order:

  • Confirmed Asbestos Containing Building Material for this location: a list of all material within the building that we know contains asbestos. This material should never be disturbed.
  • Assumed Asbestos Containing Building Material for this location: a list of material within the building that might contain asbestos but was not tested. This material should never be disturbed.
  • Non-asbestos Containing Building Material for this location: a list of all material within the building that has been tested and confirmed to not contain asbestos. These material are not hazardous.
  • Non-suspect Asbestos Containing Building Material for this location: a list of building material that typically never contains asbestos. These materials have not been tested and are not hazardous.

*For the purposes of testing for asbestos, Auditoriums are considered separate structures from the rest of the building. Therefore, if a building has an auditorium, there will be a separate table.

After this first group of tables, scroll down to Section II find the Room by Room reports. These reports give specific details about every space in the building. Use the definitions to the right to help you read the room by room reports.


  • ACBM = Asbestos Containing Building Material
  • ACM = Asbestos Containing Material
  • Confirmed = describes material that has been tested and found to contain asbestos.
  • Assumed = describes material that has not been tested, but may contain asbestos.
  • Non-Suspect = A term for material that characteristically does not contain asbestos and is not tested for asbestos.
  • NAD = No Asbestos Detected. Describes material that was tested and determined to not contain asbestos.
  • Element = Some campuses have multiple buildings (main building, annex, little school house, etc.). Element denotes the structure that the information is referring to. The main building is typically denoted as “1”.
  • SF, LF, EA = Square Feet, Linear Feet, Each

2018/19 AHERA Reports

Big Picture El Centro de EstudiantesCamelot Academy East; PLA North;  Crossroads @ Hunting ParkCamelot at BooneOne Bright Ray ElmwoodPhiladelphia Learning Academy South
Academy @ PalumboArts Academy @ Benjamin RushJohn Bartram
Bartram Field House
William W. BodineBuilding 21
Central Field House
ConstitutionCreative & Performing ArtsMurrell Dobbins
Dobbins Field House
Thomas A. Edison
Engineering & ScienceSamuel FelsFox Chase FarmFrankford
Frankford Field House
Franklin Learning Center
Benjamin Franklin
KHEPERA Results Letter
Benjamin Franklin - Sedgley Ave.
Horace FurnessGirard Academic Music ProgramPhila. HS for GirlsHigh School of the Future
Hill-Freedman World AcademyKensington CAPAKensington Health SciencesKensingtonMartin Luther King
LankenauAbraham Lincoln
Lincoln Field House
Lincoln Pool
Jules E. MastbaumJulia R. MastermanMotivation
Northeast Field House
OverbrookParkway Center CityParkway WestParkway Northwest
Penn TreatyPhiladelphia Military AcademyRandolph TechnicalPaul RobesonRoxborough
Roxborough Field House
Walter B. SaulWilliam L. Sayre
Sayre Pool
Science Leadership Academy @ BeeberScience Leadership AcademySouth Philadelphia
Southern Field House
Strawberry MansionSwenson Arts/TechThe LINCThe U SchoolThe Workshop School
George Washington
George Washington Field House
West Philadelphia
West Philadelphia Field House
AMY 5 @ James MartinAMY NorthwestBaldiRoberto ClementeRussell Conwell
Conwell Annex
Feltonville Arts & SciencesHancock Demonstrative @ LaBrum MSWarren G. HardingAustin MeehanMYA - Middle Years Alt for Humanities
Pennypack Environmental CenterScience Leadership Academy (Dornslife)West Phila. Community CenterTildenGen. Louis Wagner
Grover Washington Jr.Woodrow Wilson
Alexander AdaireDr. Ethel AllenEthan AllenAdd B. AndersonChester A. Arthur
Arthur Annex
Bache-Martin (Martin)
John BarryClara BartonMary McLeod BethuneJames G. Blaine
Rudolph BlankenburgAmedee F. BregyBridesburg
Bridesburg Annex
Henry A. BrownJoseph H. Brown
William C. BryantCarnell
Carnell LSH
Lewis C. CassidyJoseph Catharine
Catharine Annex
George W. ChildsBenjamin B. ComegysWatson ComlyCook-WissahickonJay Cooke
William CrampKennedy C. CrossanAnna B. Day
J. DeBurgosStephen Decatur
William DickHamilton DisstonJames DobsonTanner DuckreyPaul L. Dunbar
Franklin S. EdmondsLewis Elkin
Elkin LSH
EllwoodEleanor C. EmlenLouis H. Farrell
D. Newlin FellFeltonville Head StartFeltonville IntermediateThomas K. Finletter
Finletter LSH
Fitler Academics Plus
A. L. FitzpatrickEdwin Forrest
Edwin Forrest LSH
Fox Chase
Fox Chase Farm
Anne Frank
Anne Frank LSH
Benjamin Franklin
Franklin Annex
Edward GideonStephen GirardSamuel GompersJoseph GreenbergAlbert M. Greenfield
Horatio B. HackettAndrew HamiltonHancock DemonstrationAvery D. Harrington
Harrington Annex
John F. Hartranft
Hartranft Community Center
Haverford Child CareCharles W. HenryEdward HestonL. P. HillThomas Holme
Francis Hopkinson
Hopkinson LSH
Henry H. HoustonJulia Ward HoweWilliam H. HunterAndrew Jackson
Jenks Academy Arts & SciencesAbram S. JenksJuniata Park AcademyGen. Philip KearnyWilliam D. Kelley
John B. KellyKendertonFrancis Scott KeyEliza B. KirkbrideRobert E. Lamberton
Lamberton LSH
Henry W. LawtonHenry C. LeaAnna L. LingelbachAlain LockeWilliam H. Loesche
James LoganWilliam C. LongstrethJames R. LowellJames R. Ludlow
Ludlow Community Center
John Marshall
Thurgood MarshallMayfairGen. George A. McCallJohn F. McCloskeyAlexander K. McClure
Delaplaine McDaniel
McDaniel Annex
William McKinleyMorton McMichaelGen. George G. MeadeWilliam M. Meredith
Thomas MifflinMitchellJohn MoffetJ. Hampton Moore
J. Hampton Moore LSH
Robert Morris
Andrew J. MorrisonThomas G. Morton
Morton Annex
Hon. Luis Munoz-MarinGeorge W. NebingerOlney
Olney Annex (St. Ambrose)
Olney Annex (St. James)
Overbrook Educational CenterOverbrookJohn M. PattersonThomas M. PeircePenn Alexander
Jospeh PennellSamuel PennypackerPenrose
Penrose Annex
Penrose LSH
Robert B. PollockPotter-Thomas
Samuel Powel
Powel Annex
Pratt Early Childhood CenterPrince HallRhawnhurstJames Rhoads
E. W. RhodesRichmondRivera/Lehigh ParkRooseveltWilliam Rowen
George SharswoodShawmontIsaac A. SheppardPhilip H. Sheridan
Sheridan Annex
Solomon Solis-Cohen
Solomon Solis-Cohen LSH
SouthwarkSpring GardenGilbert Spruance
Gilbert Spruance LSH
Edwin M. StantonAllen M. Stearne
Edward SteelJames J. SullivanJohn H. TaggartBayard Taylor
Taylor Annex
Trinidad Head Start
Vare-WashingtonLaura W. WaringMartha WashingtonJohn H. Webster
Webster LSH
John Welsh
Widener Memorial
Widener Barn
Widener Garage
Frances E. Willard
Willard Annex "A"
Richard R. WrightWilliam H. Ziegler
AP Birney *ASPIRA Olney *
Olney Field House
ASPIRA Stetson *BelmontGLA Huey *
KIPP West PhiladelphiaMastery Cleveland *Mastery Clymer *Mastery Douglass *Mastery Gratz *
Mastery Harrity *Mastery Mann *Mastery Pastorius *Mastery PickettMastery Shoemaker
Mastery Smedley *Mastery Thomas *Mastery Wister *Memphis Street AcademyPhila. Charter for Arts
Universal Alcorn *Universal Audenried *Universal Bluford *Universal Creighton *
Creighton LSH
Universal Daroff *
Universal Vare *
*Renaissance Charter Schools

2015/16 AHERA Reports

To view the 2015-2016 AHERA Reports, please click here.

School District Inspections

In addition to the regular AHERA inspections, the School District of Philadelphia implements proactive and reactive protocols to monitor the environmental conditions, and control or repair them as needed.

Proactive Inspections

  • At every school, Facilities Area Coordinators (FACs), Building Engineers (BEs), and principals partner to perform building-wide visual inspections during the school year. All suspected and confirmed adverse environmental conditions (asbestos, lead, mold, etc.) are recorded and submitted as work orders. A work order could trigger:
    • In the event of a suspected or confirmed imminent hazard (damage in an occupied or high traffic area, or in an area where the condition could spread) an evaluation to determine the scope of repairs within 24 hours and the repairs being complete within 48 hours. The school community will be informed of the scope of work and effect to the building occupants throughout the repair process.
    • In the event of non-imminent damage, an evaluation to determine control measures until repairs can be made.
    • An evaluation to determine exact scope of the damage. In some cases, reports made during the visual inspection may not require additional work or attention.
  • Asbestos inspections are performed before any construction project at a school, no matter how big or small the project.
  • All scopes for major capital projects include a building-wide environmental conditions assessment. The results of these assessments can inform adjustments and revisions to the original scope – to account for abatements, testing, etc.

Reactive Protocols

  • School building occupants should report suspected or confirmed damage to the Building Engineer as soon as possible. The Building Engineer reports to the Facilities Area Coordinator (FAC) who reports to the Office of Environmental Management & Services (OEMS). A Building Inspector from OEMS will respond to the original report within 24 hours.
  • In the event that an imminent hazard (damage in an occupied or high traffic area, or in an area where the condition could spread) is confirmed by the building inspector, repairs will be complete within 48 hours. The school community will be informed of the scope of work and effect to the building occupants throughout the repair process.
  • In the event of non-imminent damage, an evaluation to determine control measures will be conducted.
  • In some cases, reports made may not require additional work or attention. This will be communicated to the school community.
  • Building occupants, parents and community members can report suspected or confirmed asbestos damage to

2019/20 SDP Inspection Reports

Asbestos Removals

As a precautionary measure, when necessary the District hires licensed environmental professionals to remove asbestos containing materials such as flooring, pipe insulation, and visible dust or debris.

At the seven schools listed below, after the removal, all areas passed the re-occupancy criteria required by the Philadelphia Asbestos Control Regulations and are safe for students and staff. Click the links to view the action plan reports with details including the areas that were cleaned and abated, test results, and other information:

Brown Elementary
Cassidy Elementary
Jenks Elementary
Mifflin Elementary
Moore Elementary School
Nebinger Elementary
Olney Elementary School