SF State Building Shut Down Over Toxic Chemical Concerns

With students at San Francisco State University coming back from their winter break next week, university officials are scrambling to relocate classes normally held in the school’s Science Building, which has been shut down because of concerns over asbestos, mercury and lead found there.

The three-story building was closed after a routine inspection in December found that the hazardous materials were present at higher-than-recommended levels, according to a letter sent to students on Wednesday by university president Les Wong.

Wong wrote that the school hoped to resolve the problem over the winter break, but the complexity of the task required that the building stay closed through the spring semester.

Along with asbestos, mercury and lead, authorities also found elevated levels of arsenic and mold growth in the building, according to an inspection report posted on the school’s website.

Wong wrote that the university is working with health experts to understand what, if any, implications there may be for the students, faculty and staff who used the building.

He wrote that the school is working to relocate classes assigned to the building.

“This is a complex issue in a large building,” Wong wrote. “At this point, many questions are still unanswered, but I am committed to sharing information and answers with you as they become available.”

Classes resume on Monday. Updates about the building will be available at http://buildingclosure.sfsu.edu.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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