According to the UNC Department of Housing and Residential Education, since 2009 seven residence halls have been identified as having surfacing materials containing asbestos.
Rick Bradley, associate director of housing and residential education, said that students living on campus should not worry about becoming ill from the asbestos found in their dorms.
“The asbestos is contained and does not pose a health risk,” Bradley said.
In order to ensure the safety of students living in dorms with asbestos, Bradley suggested a few precautions, such as refraining from scraping or attaching items to the walls, ceiling or pipes.
He also said to keep lofted beds at least 3 feet from the ceiling, which is residence hall policy.
“The key is to contain the asbestos and to notify individuals as to the precautions that should be taken,” Bradley said.
Junior Kristin Tajlili has lived in a residence hall each year she’s been at UNC. Two of the dorms she has lived in are on the list of buildings tracked for asbestos.
She said she had not heard about the issue of asbestos on campus until the recent construction in the quad, but she is not concerned about it.
Tajlili said her only complaint is that the University did not tell her before she chose her dorm.
“I think it would have been better to let everyone know (about the presence of asbestos) when applying for housing, because we are paying a lot of money to live on campus,” Tajlili said.
Freshman Riley Foster lives in Hinton James and said knowledge of the asbestos may have factored into her choice of dorm, but ultimately, she is not worried.
“I trust Carolina enough to believe they would not let me live somewhere I was really at risk,” Foster said.
Foster also said she thinks the construction in the quad is a positive sign of the investment the University is making to ensure the safety of its students.
Whether asbestos is in the quad or a residence hall, Foster said she is sure the issues with the material will be addressed.
“If there is a health risk, they’ll make the investment to fix it,” Foster said.