LSU Buildings Plagued with Asbestos

In a campus that has been continuously plagued with asbestos problems caused by old buildings in disrepair, the student publication at Louisiana State University reports that several more occurrences of exposed asbestos have been found since the start of the school year.

An article in the Daily Reveille, the university’s newspaper, reports that numerous renovation projects are generally the reason for the asbestos concerns on the Baton Rouge campus.

“There are more than 300 buildings on campus and any building built between the 1940s and the 1970s might have used asbestos as a building material,” said Michael Hooks, assistant director of Occupational and Environmental Safety. Most dorms, notes the article, were built during this time period, so students are urged to be cautious and report structural damages when they are seen.

“Asbestos was used in installation for floor tile, ceiling tile and fire proofing spray,” Hooks said. “It was used so frequently because it was cheap to abstract and cheap to put into the building.”

Exposed asbestos has already been sighted in numerous buildings on this large campus, including Pleasant Hall, the Veterinary Medicine Building, the Music and Dramatic Arts Building, the Pentagon dorms and McVoy Hall.

Terry Grier, assistant director for Environmental Maintenance, is the campus’s designated asbestos expert. He and his staff follow strict guidelines as to the handling, containment, and removal of the substance. The reason for the overwhelming number of cases of the exposed material, he points out, is due to the fact that extensive renovations are occurring throughout the campus. Grier says he and his team encounter asbestos concerns daily, but students and staff aren’t at risk.

“We know where the asbestos materials are, and we try to keep everybody safe,” Grier said. “If there becomes a problem, we take care of it so no one is exposed to asbestos.”

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