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7.5 Asbestos

Asbestos is a fibrous material that was once widely used in a number of products that can still be found in laboratories and throughout other buildings. Products that can contain asbestos include: electrical equipment insulation (ovens, heating mantles, heating pads, and wires), older vinyl floor tiles and mastic, pipe fittings, pipe insulation, caulking compounds, fireproofing, and transite (cement-like) panels such as those found in and under fume hoods.

Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and must be disposed of properly. The hazard of asbestos is greatest when the asbestos product becomes “friable” – able to be pulverized from finger pressure – and when the asbestos becomes airborne. For older vinyl asbestos tile (VAT), an additional slipping hazard occurs when these tiles “pop” out of the floor.

If you find any of the above items deteriorating and suspect they may contain asbestos, or you are considering disposing of old electrical equipment with insulation, or if vinyl tiles have “popped” out of the floor, then please contact the asbestos coordinator at 607-254-5439 for more information.