In the midst of University of Toronto faculty and staff demanding an asbestos audit, the university has fired its longtime contractor in charge of renovations in the Medical Sciences Building, where MyMeso previously reported asbestos-tainted dust was found in five laboratories.
According to The Globe and Mail, those potentially affected fear the health impacts of asbestos and have voiced their frustrations through the university’s faculty association and a student petition. “The administration has lost the confidence of faculty, staff and students in their ability to appropriately manage this situation and ensure the safety and security of people who work in the building,” Patricia Brubaker, a professor in the building, said.
In light of the asbestos-tainted dust, the university has fired its longtime contractor, who was in charge of the renovations and will not be given any further contracts on the St. George campus, CBC News reports. “We have zero tolerance. And this is a contractor who’s worked on this campus for a long time, multiple years — never had an issue before. We’ve never had a breach like this. In the last 10 years that I was able to look, we’ve never had a problem like this,” Scott Mabury, vice president of university operations, told the news source. “So we needed to send a strong message.”
In a written statement last week, the university deemed the building “safe for general occupancy” based on more than 200 air samples taken in and around the building over the past two months. However, that remains insufficient for those who would like to see documented proof it is safe to return to the labs.