As you prepare your son or daughter for another year at university, you might want to consider the potential danger of asbestos exposure they may face. Recently, workers at the University of California, Davis admitted that they have knowingly exposed students to asbestos fibers for years.
Asbestos, a naturally-occurring mineral found within the earth, has been worked into residential and commercial structures, including school buildings, for decades. Although it is present in many different structures around the country, the asbestos-contaminated materials are only a risk when in a friable state, meaning they are easily crumbled or breaking down.
Several workers within the Academic Technology Services Department at the UC Davis campus have admitted that they have used hammer drills in older buildings containing asbestos while students have been present. Adding to the danger is the fact that air conditioning and ventilation systems were turned on when the drilling was taking place. Even a small amount of exposure to airborne asbestos fibers puts students at risk for deadly asbestos-related diseases, like mesothelioma.
The workers that have blown the whistle on the dangerous drilling practices at the university say that they were ordered to drill holes in older buildings on campus, "even though their bosses knew there was probably asbestos [present]." They do not doubt that they and other students were exposed to the substance.
The whistleblowers want to see mandatory policies put in place to protect workers and students from future asbestos exposure, and so do we. Mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer are all caused by exposure to asbestos fibers, and can take years or decades to develop within individuals. It would be a tragedy to see these young students diagnosed with deadly diseases due to their exposure at school.
Source: News10 ABC