After an inspection of a science building revealed asbestos dust, mercury vapor, and lead paint, San Francisco State University closed the building for the entire 2014 spring semester. This requires finding classrooms, labs, and offices for more than 2,500 students and staff.
Les Wong, president of the university, stated, “The University is working with health and safety experts to understand the implications of these findings for individuals who used the building in the past and will provide information as soon as all necessary tests have been completed, analyzed and reviewed.”
Asbestos was used in the construction of many buildings and homes throughout the U.S. through the 1970s. As long as the material remains undisturbed it’s not a threat, but once disturbed, the dust can be inhaled and adhere to clothing and other objects. Fibers entering the body can lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma.