Asbestos Found in Harvard Dorm Room

According to thecrimson.com, asbestos found in Harvard building materials recently forced at least one undergraduate to temporarily relocate out of his room in Winthrop House, although administrators say current levels of the asbestos material post no health problems to students.

Last semesters, after arriving back to his dorm, Winthrop resident Matthew W.G. Walker ’16 said he noticed a chunk of plaster had fallen from the ceiling into his closet, scattering dust over his clothes. The next day, Winthrop House staff and facility workers tested the plaster and found levels of asbestos in the material.

Winthrop House Masters Stephanie Robinson and Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. wrote in a statement that standards of construction for older buildings are to blame for the presence of asbestos, which was frequently used for fireproofing and insulation throughout the twentieth century.

“Asbestos has been found in rooms at Winthrop House, either during repair work or during episodes where something breaks and materials behind the wall are exposed,” they wrote, adding that no students or staff members in the House are exposed to asbestos in ways that would break building codes.

Asbestos exposure has been shown to cause malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and a variety of other cancers. If you or a friend has been diagnosed with asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma, please call us at 1(800)995-6991 for a free consultation.