Sep 072010
 
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Students need not be alarmed when they see the “Keep Out: Asbestos” sign in the A-wing of the Clark Building, Facilities Management and Environmental Health Services officials said.

“It’s about as harmless as it can get, but removing it during renovations is routine,” said Brian Chase, director of Facilities.

The Clark A abatement, which is broken up into four phases and should be completed by mid-October, will come in at $58,117.

The areas in Clark’s A-wing to be mitigated of asbestos, as required by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, are:

  • The basement,
  • The southwest corner,
  • The southeast corner, and
  • The south-center area.

Phase two, which is the southwest corner of Clark A, was completed Tuesday.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral used as a binder or for insulation because of its ability to withstand chemicals, heat and other degrading conditions, said Eric March, the university asbestos and lead coordinator for Environmental Health Services, or EHS.

Prior to 1988, March said, using asbestos in building materials to gain fire ratings was standard practice.

The questionable tiles contain 1 percent asbestos and are friable, or able to be loosened by pressure. If the fibers are liberated and released into the air, which has not happened, it would be harmful to lungs.

“You can’t just go in with a saw and cut up something that contains asbestos,” March said, adding that about half of the buildings on campus have been rid of the material.

All abatement areas will be contained and the removed materials will be handled by certified asbestos workers and then sealed in airtight disposable containers, said Mike Davis, a project planner for Facilities.

EHS monitors the project and will clear the areas through air quality tests. All air released during the project, Davis said, is being filtered first.
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Assistant News Editor Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com._

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