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Saturday, September 6, 2014

UNC Facing Challenge Over Asbestos Present in Dormitories

Asbestos has been utilized in construction materials for decades. Problems linger now in building that still have asbestos fiber present. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and has been causally connected to: asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, as well as a many other malignancies.

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Recent construction in the quad to remove asbestos has brought attention to the presence of the potentially hazardous material on other parts of campus, such as in residence halls and class buildings.

According to the UNC Department of Housing and Residential Education, since 2009 seven residence halls have been identified as having surfacing materials containing asbestos.

Rick Bradley, associate director of housing and residential education, said that students living on campus should not worry about becoming ill from the asbestos found in their dorms.

“The asbestos is contained and does not pose a health risk,” Bradley said.

In order to ensure the safety of students living in dorms with asbestos, Bradley suggested a few precautions, such as refraining from scraping or attaching items to the walls, ceiling or pipes.

He also said to keep lofted beds at least 3 feet from the ceiling, which is residence hall policy

“The key is to contain the asbestos and to notify individuals as to the precautions that should be taken,” Bradley said.

Junior Kristin Tajlili has lived in a residence hall each year she’s been at UNC. Two of the dorms she has lived in are on the list of buildings tracked for asbestos.

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