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University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

Asbestos found in one office and mold in another area of King Hall

President Eanes calls for testing after heavy rain, notifies campus of measures to mitigate
The+office+that+was+originally+tested+for+asbestos+in+King+Hall+found+the+fibers+in+the+loose+tiles%2C+but+they+remain+encapsulated.
Anne To
The office that was originally tested for asbestos in King Hall found the fibers in the loose tiles, but they remain encapsulated.

King Hall classrooms and hallways were abuzz – literally – with the sounds of asbestos sampling pumps running throughout the building Friday.

The testing comes after President Berenecea Johnson Eanes sent out a university-wide email last week that said she had an office in King Hall tested for mold, lead, and asbestos. While there were no results for the mold and lead, the test found a possible risk of asbestos exposure in the room. 

“We are taking immediate action in response to this finding: The impacted office has been closed; the faculty members in the office have been moved out; and a contractor will be selected to begin the work of abating the office. Out of an abundance of caution, two offices next to the impacted office will also be abated. The faculty have been moved,” Eanes said in the email.

The results were released Monday, in an university-wide email by President Eanes.

“The test found that there is not a concentration of asbestos fibers—or any fibers—in the air of the building. The level of any type of fibers present falls below the EPA’s and OSHA’s limits,” she said in her email.

However, the results found a common mold in the air on the third floor of King Hall in the C wing.

While asbestos fibers pose no danger unless disturbed, the recent atmospheric rains have caused damage to the tiling and walls in King Hall.

Terra Environmental is the inspection company that was contracted to do the asbestos tests within the building. Pump collected air samples near broken tiling on the ceiling in the hallways and rooms of every floor. Most of the pumps that were visible were found in the A wing of King Hall.

While there have been signs around the building with asbestos warnings on them, some students said they were not even aware of it.

Abestos warning sign on door
Posters can be found across King Hall and other buildings on campus warning about the presence of asbestos. (Anne To)

The issue with asbestos in the building has been brought up for multiple years on the campus. First-year student Christ Flores said that he hopes the university can address safety concerns quickly in the future. 

“I hope they’ve learned that if there is going to be a potential problem that could affect the safety of students to definitely get on that as soon as possible,” Flores said. “Hopefully this is a learning experience for everyone.”

First-year student Maria Ledezma said that she is concerned about the potential danger.

“I definitely don’t want my classes here if asbestos is in the building,” Ledezma said.

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was used as an insulator within many households in the past. However, breathing in the fibers was linked to an increased risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma, and its use was banned in 1977.

The Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety Office can be contacted for any concerns and information about the issue through email at [email protected] and phone at 323-343-3531. Students can also submit an online form regarding safety concerns.

More information about the risks of asbestos exposure can be found on the California Department of Health website

The president’s email noted that the Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety Office can be reached via email or by phone at 323-343-3531. An online form may be used to report a safety concern.

mask on floor in classroom
Two offices adjacent to the office that tested for asbestos in King Hall were also closed for safety. (Anne To)
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About the Contributors
Anne To, Editor-In-Chief
Anne To is the Editor in Chief of the UT and also the co-Station manager of the Golden Eagle Radio. She loves working on audio production with radio, podcasting, and more! You may have seen some of her comics with the Life of Biffy series. During her free time she is either taking a nap, or playing video games.  
Brian Lai, Community News Digital Editor & Distribution Manager
Brian Lai is an English major, and an UT reporter that writes mostly about Calstate LA’s campus. He covers campus events, issues and highlights, and other related topics. 
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