Asbestos is a naturally occuring fibrous mineral used historically for insulation, fireproofing and increasing the strength of materials. It is also a hazardous air polutant that has been directly linked to serious illnesses such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Intact, an asbestos containing material (ACM) is safe. Once damaged, the ACM can release the hazardous asbestos fibers into the air where they can be inhaled and cause the illnesses described above.
The most commonly encountered forms of ACMs are:
floor tile mastic
carpet and baseboard mastics
insulation for pipes
fittings and tanks
elevator brake pads
fume hood linings
Any of these materials, if manufactured and installed before 1990, may contain asbestos and should be considered suspect. If you note damage to any of these, notify Physical Plant Work Request Desk 815-753-1741 or Mary Schlagel at the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, 815-753-1577.