Asbestos is an extremely dangerous mineral that can cause multiple harmful diseases and cancers if inhaled. Due to its dangerous nature, the asbestos mineral must be fully abated and removed from a building if its discovered.
Many buildings have been discovered to contain asbestos in them as asbestos was a very common product to use in construction before its 1980 ban. One of the buildings that was suspected to have asbestos contaminating it was Gist Hall of Humbolt State University.
According to the University, “After final air clearance test results showed that no asbestos fibers were detected in the air, Gist Hall re-opened as scheduled on Monday, August 12 at 8 a.m.”
This is very promising news, as earlier this year the entire hall was shut down due to the possible presence of what was thought to be disturbed asbestos. Although many buildings contain asbestos and asbestos is very dangerous, asbestos is not considered a health threat until it has been disturbed or has worn down to the point that it is airborne. This means that although all asbestos containing material will eventually release airborne fibers, if they are not currently doing so, there is no need for the lengthy asbestos abatement process to take place.
After the disturbed asbestos was found in the hall, all classes in the hall were relocated and the hall was shut down until further notice.
After the hall was closed, the university quickly hired a team to sample the air and see if the disturbed asbestos had released an airborne fibers. Lucky for students and faculty, the asbestos was not currently releasing any fibers into the air and no asbestos fibers were detected.
Although the disturbed material contained asbestos, it currently does not present any kind of health danger to the people in Gist Hall, so classes will resume for the fall semester with no asbestos abatement having been performed.