On Tuesday afternoon, the asbestos alarm went off at Ingieråsen School. Now the situation is clear and safe.
The school safety representative was the first to report “disturbing results” in an equipment room adjacent to the school gymnasium. The suspicion was that it could be asbestos.
– The school sent us a letter of concern after the internal safety ombudsman’s tour. Among other things, there was uncertainty about whether the floor covering in the gym could contain asbestos. Moreover, there was also concern about dust and dirt in the equipment room connected to the gym. The floor covering in the gym is from the time when asbestos-containing and therefore non-asbestos-containing floor coverings were banned. Dust samples were taken in the equipment room, as were samples from the floors here, begins Hogne Haug, Director of Business at Nordre Follo Municipality on Oppegård Avis.
When the “asbestos alarm” went off, the municipality quickly moved to the school.
Our indoor climate professional took dust samples and floor covering samples in the storage room on Tuesday. No asbestos was found in the substrate, while there was a result of brown asbestos in the dust samples from the equipment room, Haug explains.
I followed the procedures
When such an indication is presented, it is common practice to close the relevant area for further investigations. This was done immediately and the school principal was informed. He then informed the gym users that it was closed until further investigations were clarified. This happened on Tuesday afternoon.
Early Wednesday morning, specialists from Mycoteam were on site at the school for comprehensive checkups.
– Results from dust samples indicate that “at one time or another” there has been use of asbestos. However, this will not be a challenge until it is present in the air, or if materials containing asbestos are used. Mycoteam and our pros were on Wednesday morning for extensive testing and screening to map both the gym and adjoining rooms. The conclusion here, Haug says, is that there are no signs of asbestos in the air samples.
Based on the initial information he received, the theory is that the dust samples contain very old remains of asbestos.
– The place where it is difficult to reach the first samples that indicated the presence of asbestos and not a place that is normally cleaned. In other words, it can be several years old. There may be remnants of old work on pipe penetration or the like. Hogg continues that dust can actually originate from the time before asbestos values appeared.
He also confirms that the most important thing after all is that all air samples show certified values, and that there are no signs of asbestos in the air in some places at the school. The area where the asbestos was found has already been cleared and cleaned.
– It has already been cleaned from the storage room, the cleaning has been done there and the room has been cleaned in an extended way. In other words, there is no longer any reason not to use the gym as usual, unless you break down the walls and separate the walls with drills or augers, he says cheerfully.
I took several samples
With regard to tests in the gymnasium, asbestos tests were also carried out in several places in connection with the gym, including on a canal. No asbestos is found here, but improvements to insulation are still recommended. In the access room of the technical room below the gymnasium that was not used by students or staff, there were some asbestos floor tiles. The municipality will ensure that this is addressed once the final report from Mycoteam is ready. So far, Haug has received the main findings by email.
Hogg is glad that the gym cleanse went so quickly.
We know that some may be concerned because of the information that has been sent, but we would like to stress that both residents and users of our school premises should know that we have very good procedures in place to deal with such incidents. Our closing of a gym just means we want to be on the safe side, not that staying there is dangerous. Haug says it wouldn’t have been so dangerous if we hadn’t shut it down.
Erling Berom, Dean of Ingieråsen, agrees.
– This is the recipe for how to deal with such a situation. We informed our safety representative in the administration, we informed the municipality and the municipality started all necessary measures as soon as possible. And Bairom praises things could hardly have gone faster.
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