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Out of an abundance of caution, Lake County government is closing certain Waukegan offices Friday following the discovery of a disturbance of floor tiles that contain asbestos material in the Administrative Building located at 18 N. County St.
According to the County’s licensed asbestos abatement contractor, a disturbance of floor tiles (which is non-friable material) has very low health risk to building occupants. Non-friable material means it cannot be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure. Thus, it is less likely to release measurable levels of asbestos into the airborne environment when disturbed, posing a lower risk to health. Asbestos is naturally found in our environment and health risks associated with asbestos exposure develop after many years of regular exposure to high levels.
The disturbance was discovered Friday morning after a large piece of printing equipment was moved. The potential exposure is confined to the basement, Treasurer’s Office and County Clerk’s Office and approximately 100 employees in these areas are leaving for the day. These offices will reopen when air testing results confirm safe conditions.
Other areas in the building are not affected as they’re not connected to the same air handler.
Environmental experts have been called to clean the affected area and test the air.