University of South Carolina Racks Up $175K in Asbestos Fines

Asbestos Exposure & Bans
Reading Time: 3 mins
Publication Date: 04/30/2012
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed

Asbestos.com is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us

Testimonials

"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Lashawn
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite Asbestos.com’s Article

APA

Povtak, T. (2020, October 16). University of South Carolina Racks Up $175K in Asbestos Fines. Asbestos.com. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from https://www.asbestos.com/news/2012/04/30/south-carolina-asbestos-fines/

MLA

Povtak, Tim. "University of South Carolina Racks Up $175K in Asbestos Fines." Asbestos.com, 16 Oct 2020, https://www.asbestos.com/news/2012/04/30/south-carolina-asbestos-fines/.

Chicago

Povtak, Tim. "University of South Carolina Racks Up $175K in Asbestos Fines." Asbestos.com. Last modified October 16, 2020. https://www.asbestos.com/news/2012/04/30/south-carolina-asbestos-fines/.

Just because they call it an institution of higher learning doesn’t mean everyone there is all that smart. The University of South Carolina is learning this the hard way.

The university paid $175,500 in fines over the past four years for violating environmental laws designed to stem asbestos exposure on campus.

The State Newspaper, upon a review of Department of Health and Environmental Control enforcement records, included promises of compliance by university officials. Those promises were never fulfilled.

Asbestos violations included renovation projects at three student apartment complexes, a medical school building, and Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. There also were violations at USC’s branch campus in Lancaster, South Carolina.

“These are not new regulations. They’ve been on the books since the 1980s,” said Brent Kynoch, director of the Environmental Information Association, which serves as an asbestos abatement consultant in Washington D.C. “Without a doubt, the University should have the knowledge and capability of handling this properly.”

The asbestos violations are significant, according to The State, because university employees and at least one student may have been exposed to asbestos, which can cause a variety of serious health issues, including mesothelioma.

In its own asbestos plan, the university estimated that 90 of 200 buildings on campus are contaminated with asbestos. Under that plan, the school wants to coordinate all on-campus renovations with a structured workflow to include asbestos abatement.

Also under the plan, both custodial and maintenance staff will undergo basic asbestos awareness training.

The plan, in part, was the result of the violations and fines that occurred the past four years but were not detailed until The State investigation.

Universities across the country, many with older buildings throughout campus, have been dealing with the issue of asbestos for many years.

Most campus buildings constructed before 1980 have at least some asbestos. Although it still is not banned in the United States, its use has been dramatically curtailed in recent decades.

More than a dozen buildings on the California State University-Northridge campus earlier this year were found to have asbestos that could cause future problems. Regulations are intended to ensure that the deadly airborne asbestos fibers are not dispersed.

At USC, officials downplayed any possible dangers from past violations. Air monitoring tests, according to officials, did not reveal any exposures during the renovations project. Still, the fines are significant in an era of shrinking budgets at state universities.

Breathing the microscopic fibers, even for a short period of time, can lead to health issues if they become lodged in the lining surrounding the lungs.

paper with magnifying glass
Free Mesothelioma Resources
Get Access to Free Resources for Patients & Loved Ones