A university founded in 1872 is bound to have some older buildings on its campus. And older buildings almost always come with potentially hazardous asbestos lurking inside.
That's certainly true at Virginia Tech, where the demolition of a 119-year-old dormitory means that time and money must be spent to remove asbestos before a new building can go up.
The campus newspaper Collegiate Times reported recently that Virginia Tech's Rasche Hall is now closed and fenced off as contractors proceed with the complex process of safely removing the asbestos contained in its mechanical spaces and pipe chases.
Asbestos is a natural mineral once widely used in building products such as tiles, insulation, and adhesives due to its strength and ability to resist heat. However, exposure to asbestos is linked to serious diseases including mesothelioma, a rare and incurable cancer.
Virginia Tech officials stress that there was never a risk to students living in Rasche Hall, since the asbestos was contained in areas that are difficult to access. Like most colleges and universities, Virginia Tech has an official policy for monitoring and removing asbestos.
While undisturbed asbestos is not considered a health threat, the university conducts periodic inspections of all suspect and known asbestos-containing materials (ACM) to monitor the condition of ACM and ensure that ACM is maintained in an undamaged (non-hazardous) condition. When asbestos is considered to be a risk, it is removed safely by a licensed contractor in accordance with the federal Clean Air Act and state laws.
Asbestos removal from Rasche Hall will be supervised by the EPA and is expected to take until the end of December. Demolition of the building will proceed once all the asbestos is gone.
If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos and later diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Call Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.