William & Mary

Asbestos Management

Where is Asbestos at W&M?

Many of W&M buildings constructed prior to 1985 contain asbestos, including floor tiles, mastics, HVAC duct tape, pipe insulation, roofing, spray-applied ceiling textures, ceiling tiles and drywall taping compounds; therefore asbestos management is a major concern. Asbestos becomes a health risk when the materials are disturbed and microscopic asbestos fibers become airborne and are inhaled. When left alone and remain undamaged, the materials present little to no health risk. The current W&M asbestos policy is to manage asbestos containing materials in place.

The EH&S office maintains a database detailing known locations of asbestos containing materials.  If you have questions about a particular location, contact the EH&S office prior to disturbing the material.

William and Mary's database for Asbestos in W&M Buildings (xls)

What are the risks associated with asbestos?

Asbestos is a known carcinogen (cancer causing agent). The danger of asbestos exposure can occur when asbestos fibers are released into the air they can be inhaled or swallowed. Asbestos has no smell or taste and asbestos fibers are so small that they are not visible to the naked eye. The fibers can lodge in the lung or other body tissues and over time lead to the development of diseases. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer) and asbestosis (a progressive fibrotic disease of the lungs caused by relatively heavy exposure to asbestos). The symptoms of these diseases, however, can take 30 – 40 years to appear.



The EH&S office maintains a database detailing known locations of asbestos containing materials.  If you have questions about a particular location, contact the EH&S office prior to disturbing the material.

 

William and Mary's Asbestos Management Plan (doc)