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Asbestos Can Be Anywhere: Material Found at Harvard

Asbestos at Harvard has prompted at least one mandatory relocation, highlighting the reality that asbestos is hidden and can be virtually anywhere.

The cancer-causing substance asbestos was recently detected in some of Harvard’s building materials they used to construct Winthrop House. Harvard maintains that the levels of asbestos pose no health risks to students, but one undergraduate has been asked to move out of his room for the time being. The issue came to the attention of the school after a chunk of the ceiling had fallen in the student’s dorm room, causing a shower of white dust to fall to the ground.

Asbestos was a frequently used building material throughout the 20th century, known for its insulation and fireproofing abilities. According to school officials, asbestos is not dangerous unless it is a powder, a form in which it can be inhaled. Harvard officials added that third-party asbestos removal experts have been hired to handle the problem. For more on this story, visit The Harvard Crimson.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “the mere presence of asbestos in a residence is not hazardous. The danger is that asbestos materials may become damaged over time. Damaged asbestos may release asbestos fibers and become a health hazard.”

If you are considering renovations to your older home or property, you may want to schedule an inspection. Disturbing asbestos in your home can create a serious health hazard, so it is best handled by asbestos removal experts.

Some areas where asbestos might be present:

  • Furnaces, steam pipes, and boilers
  • Tiles (floor and roof)
  • The area around furnaces and fireplaces
  • Soundproofed material
  • Roofing materials

Learn more about asbestos in the home from the CPSC. If you or someone you know was diagnosed with mesothelioma, we invite you to contact our mesothelioma attorneys for a free evaluation of your legal rights and options. Our passionate advocates for asbestos cancer victims do not charge a fee unless we win your case!