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Discussion Starter #1
Back again for another quick question. My wife works in a VERY old church building that was originally constructed in like 1915, but has had many additions and updates. The educational wing where my toddler goes to preschool was completed in 1968.

That said, she told me the other day there were several ceiling tiles that she noticed were damaged and she is concerned they may have asbestos. Also, they are replacing EVERY single light fixture in the entire church b/c you can no longer buy the bulbs and its part of an electrical update. She said she mentioned to the administrator if they had thought about the fact that the ceiling tiles could be asbestos and they would obviously be drilling and disturbing them when they put in new fixtures. I'd venture there are at least 300+ fixtures they'll be messing with.

This has us both concerned not only for her safety since she works there, but more importantly the preschoolers who will be back in the fall. The plan was to address the fixtures during the summer.

She's about to be on maternity leave, so she won't be there to discover how this turns out and if they throw caution to the wind I'm not sure I'd want my 3yr old in school there.

Any suggestions? I'm attaching pics of the two tiles she has found, but she hasn't investigated further so who knows how many are damaged. She did tell me that there are various types of tiles depending on where you are in the building.
 

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Damaged or not, just handling them will require a determination as to any presence of asbestos. To fail to do so WILL have serious consequences. All it would take is one parent asking the code authority about how this was handled.

For the electrical work someone will need to pull a permit. If an electrician is used to do the work they should flag the potential problem but I would not rely on it. If they are going under the table with everything, then they need some new administration.

Once tested then the proper path can be determined. Since some tiles are already broken and exposed there is no turning back especially in a church/school setting.

Don't know how they will take the news but someone needs to discuss it with them. In my experience there will be a special collection next Sunday.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, the CEO of the power company is a church member so I imagine he could get around any legal matters, but my wife has concerns and obviously a conflict of interest since she is employed there, but our child attends school in the building.

No one seems to care about these two broken tiles, so I'm not sure who she should discuss it with. Perhaps the school's director? From a little research online, it doesn't seem that the states are taking asbestos seriously any more and aren't doing proper building inspections according to the laws.

We weren't as concerned about the two broken tiles as the disturbing of more. I guess she assumed that they'd been broken forever and the fibers would have worn off by now.
 

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I can't imagine that any responsible church/school administrator would take lightly the possible threat of airborne asbestos in an electrical upgrade such as you describe. Surely someone in such a high profile position as CEO of the power company would be insisting that the necessary lab work be performed to determine if there is, or is not asbestos in the ceiling tiles. That would be a very costly thing not to have done!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not sure either way. I'm not sure he would have even thought about it, but my wife has expressed her concerns so hopefully someone will at least mention it.

Should we have them address these broken tiles as well, or are they not a major concern?
 

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I'm not sure what is involved with replacing 300 lights but if the ceiling tiles test positive for asbestos those tiles cannot be touched even to lift them for access to do wiring above. Tiles are not sealed so all edges would pose an exposure where asbestos fibers would be released. Note, I'm by no means a pro on asbestos. But asbestos fibers are so small you cannot see them and they would go right through any standard vacuum. Once disturbed the entire building would be contaminated and would need to be sealed and cleaned by a certified company.

Here is a reference link and there are many more online.
http://www.asbestosguide.org/asbestos-ceiling-tiles/

Note, from my brief reading they consider any movement or removal as requiring proper procedures.

Bud
 

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no they are not asbestos, but I'm sure they have fiberglass in them, I've installed thousands of them and at the end of the day my arms are broke out in a rash and the only other thing that breaks me out like that is insulation, so I would make sure they are not working in the room at the same time there are people in there, and clean up before the kids come back in
 

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@ ktmrider, testing is always advisable and:
Quoting the op: "The educational wing where my toddler goes to preschool was completed in 1968.
Quoting the link I included above:" Asbestos has been used in building insulation materials and for insulating hotplate wiring, piping and more commonly in floor tiles and ceiling tiles. It is quite common for older homes and buildings to have ceiling tiles that are made of asbestos.
Asbestos was a cheap fire resistant product, and because of this it was a common material in the construction of many building materials, including ceiling tiles, during from the early 1940s to the 1980s"


The construction date here is right in the time frame for asbestos having been used. Good article.


Bud
 

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Pretty simple to find out.....

Grab a little sample, put in a plastic zip lock bag, google asbestos testing labs, send it off in an envelope with a $15-20 check, and get the results in less than a week.

(I do it often with popcorn or old ceiling and floor tile.)

Good luck
 
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