Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material. It is mined and milled in various parts of the world to produce many different products. There are three main types of asbestos found in most of these products, chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos) and crocidolite (blue asbestos). Asbestos fibers are a health hazard because small fibers can break away and become airborne. Once airborne, they can be inhaled and become lodged in the deep part of the lungs. The diseases associated with asbestos exposure include, asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Asbestos-containing building materials can be found in flooring materials, roofing materials, surfacing materials, thermal system insulation, adhesives, caulks, etc. These types of materials were used during the construction of older buildings at Utah State University. These materials may be left in place as long as they are in good condition and are not disturbed. The EnvironmeOffice conducts building inspections to locate asbestos-containing materials and oversees abatement (removal) projects. In addition, EH&S conducts air monitoring to ensure people are not being exposed to unsafe levels of asbestos fibers and provides awareness training to inform people about asbestos facts and hazards.