By Morgan Reed
An asbestos removal project in the Social Science building is scheduled to be completed by the end of this spring semester, bringing the university one step closer to removing the former construction staple from all campus buildings.
According to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, asbestos, which had been used for insulation in the Social Science building, is being removed from multiple classrooms in the building.
The asbestos, which is toxic and can cause lung disease, is specifically found in and being removed from the ceilings, floor tiles, thermal pipe, plaster, certain fire doors and window glazing.
According to a university fact sheet posted online, the abatement project is not a threat to students and faculty, and the air surrounding the abatement project is perfectly safe.
Asbestos can pose a health hazard when it’s disturbed, and its fibers are inhaled and lodge themselves in the lungs.
Asbestos became regulated in 1971, after the campus had been built. The university has been abating the material from campus as it renovates areas.
The Department of Health and Environmental Safety says that once the removal is completed in Social Sciences, the university will be around 75 percent done with its long-running asbestos abatement project. It is not yet clear which building will be targeted next.
Abatement projects are conducted only when approved by New York State code rule 56. This code requires that areas of abatement must not only be isolated from work and travel areas, but signage and barriers must also be used to prevent patrons from entering contaminated areas.
Signs warning students and faculty of the asbestos have been posted on the doors of the Social Science building.