Friday, May 31, 2019

Test Shows 'Some Asbestos' in Material Found in Gist Hall

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2019 at 3:25 PM

click to enlarge Humboldt State University - FILE
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  • Humboldt State University
Material found in Gist Hall earlier this month “does indeed contain some asbestos," according to a statement posted today on the Humboldt State University website.

Other “loose materials” found in the building will also be tested, with results expected back next week. Meanwhile, HSU is working with an outside firm on a clean-up plan, according to the statement, which notes that no asbestos fibers were detected in the air.

“With the discovery of additional material found in the building, the scope of the cleanup will likely be wider than anticipated,” the statement reads. “As a result, Gist Hall will remain closed until mid-July out of an abundance of caution. The air will be tested again for the presence of asbestos fibers before the building reopens.”

For the time being, Gist Hall is off limits with “no exceptions” and the university directs employees to contact their supervisors with any questions.

“Based on the location of the materials and other factors, employees in Gist Hall were not exposed to disturbed asbestos, which is a naturally-occurring mineral and was commonly used in particular construction materials prior to 1978,” the statement reads.

Read the Humboldt State University statement below:

Tests confirm that the material presumed to be disturbed asbestos found in Gist Hall earlier this month does indeed contain some asbestos. Similar loose material — recently found in various areas of the building—will be tested for asbestos, as well. Results of this latest assessment are expected next week.

As detailed in prior communications, no asbestos fibers have been detected in the air of Gist Hall, according to test results conducted by a private lab.

Based on the location of the materials and other factors, employees in Gist Hall were not exposed to disturbed asbestos, which is a naturally-occurring mineral and was commonly used in particular construction materials prior to 1978.

The University is working with an outside firm to design a cleanup plan and will also engage a contractor to remove the disturbed material.

With the discovery of additional material found in the building, the scope of the cleanup will likely be wider than anticipated. As a result, Gist Hall will remain closed until mid-July out of an abundance of caution. The air will be tested again for the presence of asbestos fibers before the building reopens.

In the meantime, offices and other spaces in Gist Hall cannot be accessed for work or personal items. There are no exceptions. Employees who work in Gist Hall and have questions should contact their supervisor.

Resources and more information are available at gisthall.humboldt.edu.
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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