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10/12/93

CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558

Lou Henry Hoover Building to shut down for asbestos removal

STANFORD -- While monitoring has shown no health hazard, the first and second floors of the Lou Henry Hoover Building will be shut down within the next month so that materials containing asbestos can be removed.

In a memo to Hoover employees, Hoover Director John Raisian said that sampling on the first and second floors of the building indicates that the air is well below the recognized health hazard levels for airborne asbestos.

In addition to the current testing, periodic routine tests in various parts of the building over the last few years have consistently shown levels of airborne asbestos well below recognized health hazard levels, according to Larry Gibbs, director of Environmental Health and Safety.

Stanford Operations and Maintenance workers found the materials containing asbestos in the ductwork in the course of conducting routine repair work Oct. 2 on the second floor air-handling system of the Lou Henry Hoover Building, one of three buildings that make up the Hoover Institution complex. The workers immediately recognized and reported the presence of asbestos. The building's ventilation system has been shut off since then and will remain so until the asbestos-containing material is removed.

"Until the abatement project begins, given the test results, there is no need to prevent individuals from working on the first or second floors," Raisian said.

Raisian said he expects the relocation of staff and operations to occur within the next two to three weeks. Temporary replacement office space has not yet been found, he said.

Offices on the second floor of the building are occupied by Hoover scholars. The first floor houses the East Asian library and its staff, as well as Hoover scholars.

The asbestos abatement project is expected to take approximately three months to complete, according to Bill Witscher, director of Facilities Operations.

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