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University of Montana Foregoing Additional Asbestos Testing

The University of Montana recently discovered asbestos in a campus building being used for a preschool. They subsequently closed the building for cleaning and asbestos abatement. Meanwhile, the preschool has been moved to another building on campus until the other can be reopened.

In meetings following the closure, members of the campus and community asked the university staff if they would be expanding testing and abatement to other buildings. School officials stated that they will be testing the building the preschool was moved to only; no other buildings or offices will be tested for asbestos.

They have, however, encouraged university employees to contact facilities about "specific concerns about the potential for asbestos in their office" and they will "arrange a visual inspection" and "subsequent actions as necessary." They will only take air samples as required by state law in any building that undergoes asbestos abatement or other work that mandates air tests.

University officials and consultants believe wrongly that asbestos does not cause serious illness. A consultant has stated that he believes any asbestos ingested is harmless, but may cause lesions internally. We know that asbestos in any form and quantity can cause mesothelioma or other deadly asbestos-related illnesses.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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