Several CSUN Buildings Impacted By Asbestos

California State University, Northridge has reported that several of its campus buildings have areas that are contaminated with asbestos. In January, the CSUN Department of Environmental Health and Safety released its annual report on asbestos as required by the California Health and Safety Code. The report identified 18 campus buildings where asbestos was located. The asbestos was identified via the rigorous material sampling and building inspection process established and required by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the EPA. According to the Assistant Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Antonio Pepe, the asbestos does not pose a health risk as long as it is not disturbed. This was echoed by the January report which indicated that asbestos fibers have to become airborne via physical contact or deterioration to negatively impact health. Although there are currently no plans for a complete removal of all remaining asbestos, Assistant Director Pepe indicated that when possible, asbestos removal will be incorporated into future renovation projects. One of the primary purposes of the mandated asbestos report is to notify the campus community of its location so it can be avoided. For this reason, residents and employees at California State University, Northridge are encouraged to avoid activities like drilling or attempting to attach things to walls or ceilings in buildings that have been identified as being contaminated with asbestos. Much of the asbestos is found in areas that are not frequented by students and faculty, like hot and cold water pipe insulation, weather stripping, and ceiling tiles. Because each of the buildings where asbestos is present are impacted uniquely, the campus community is encouraged to consult the report online for the specific location of asbestos in each building. The majority of the asbestos that was formerly present in campus buildings has been removed over the past 15 years through a series of renovation projects, some resulting from the earthquake that impacted CSUN in 1994. Asbestos was once commonly used in building construction as insulation and because of its fire retardant properties, but fell out of favor when its negative effect on respiratory health became clear. Exposure to asbestos can lead to illness and disease such as mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer), lung cancer, and asbestosis. Reference:
  • Davis, Laura. (February 9, 2012). “Asbestos found in several campus buildings.” Retrieved on February 17, 2012, from The Daily Sundial.
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