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March 2, 2010 - Asbestos at U.S. University Investigated

March 2, 2010 - Asbestos at U.S. University Investigated

University of Connecticut authorities may have violated federal law when workers disposed of asbestos-laden material during a renovation, officials say.

Employees renovating the office of President Michael Hogan threw old flooring held together with asbestos-containing mastic out the office window, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Tuesday.

School officials allegedly acknowledge they violated OSHA and federal Environmental Protection Agency standards for removal of asbestos, the newspaper said.

One of the violations alleges no inspection was completed to see if there was asbestos under the floor before it was removed.

Others include the unsafe disposal of asbestos particles into the air, asbestos-laden debris tossed out without being properly bagged and asbestos disturbance occurring without any employee monitoring, the Courant said.

In December six employees of the university's facilities management department were given emergency medical screening the results of which are confidential.

"The safety and well-being of university personnel is a paramount concern. As a result of the university's own investigation, its office of Environmental Health and Safety is working with facilities personnel to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations regarding asbestos," spokesman Michael Kirk said.

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