By Alyssa Vandenberg
University Denies Carcinogenic Exposure, Announces Further Investigation
On Aug. 17, Sacramento’s News10 published an article in which two university employees and five student assistants revealed how the UC Davis Academic Technology Services Department’s unsafe practices may have exposed students to the carcinogen asbestos.
According to the report, buildings built before 1980 likely contain asbestos due to the construction materials used during this time period. State and federal laws require workers to handle buildings built before 1980 as if they have asbestos.
In a written statement to News10, UC Davis News & Media Relations Executive Director Dana Topousis said that although older buildings on campus may contain asbestos, this does not necessarily mean that students are at risk of exposure.
“Asbestos was widely used in various construction materials for decades through the 1980s, and consequently many older buildings contain asbestos,” Topousis said. “The presence of asbestos in building materials in older buildings…does not equate to airborne asbestos exposure.”
However, employees Trevor Williams and Mark Kellogg state that they were instructed to drill in the walls and ceilings of the campus’ older buildings while air conditioning and ventilation systems were on and while students were in the classrooms. The workers also report that they were never informed of the exact location of the asbestos.
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[Source]: The California Aggie
Last modified: October 2, 2015