I think I’ve caught the flu. Or it could be the asbestos and lead fibers
I’ve been breathing in for the past week. I’m relegated to a short life of
mental retardation, doomed to die of lung cancer. Roberts Hall was
opened in 1971, so it’s safe to assume that the walls are built solely with
asbestos (and plenty of manpower) and slathered with some good old lead
based paint to hold it together. There was some work done on my ceiling
one week ago to fix my ceiling light. The electricians replaced the entire
housing and left my carpet strewed with debris of dubious origin. Being
somewhat of a hypochondriac, I find myself waking up with a sore throat,
stuffy sinuses, and significantly reduced mental capabilities. The last
one might be psychosomatic though. =D Anyway, I went to the operations
office today to ask whether the ceilings have asbestos in them. The
receptionist was quite taken aback by my question. Heh.
Me: There is asbestos in the ceilings of Roberts Hall, isn’t there?
Receptionist: (startled) I’m not sure…why would you think that?
Me: (describes my symptoms, both real and imagined =D)
Receptionist: Oh dear, let me get someone better qualified to answer that
(The receptionist goes into the office and
gets the director)
Director: Hello there. How can I help you?
Me: Well, I’m concerned that the Roberts Hall ceilings contain asbestos.
There was some work done on my ceiling which left a lot of dust and debris
and I’ve been having respiratory problems after breathing it in.
Director: (phrasing his words carefully) Well…I’m not familiar with the
architectural aspects of Roberts Hall, but I would think that there isn’t
any asbestos in the structure. What does the dust look like?
Me: It looks like long, thin fibers. It doesn’t seem to break easily.
Director: (guardedly) Oh…hmm…I think that might be the spray on
concrete they use to coat the ceiling. I’ll check and get right back to
you. Do you want to leave a contact number?
Me: (gives my cell phone number)
Director: Thank you. I’ll personally get back to you when I know.
Hmm…that conversation wasn’t reassuring at all. I didn’t think about the
lead issue until later though. I spent the better part of the evening
vacuuming my room and washing my bedsheets. I know that vacuuming will
stir up the particles and that’s more dangerous since it will be easy to
breath it in, but my floor is saturated with that shit anyway and walking
alone will disturb the fibers. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.
I spilled detergent powder in front of my door just after I returned the
vacuum cleaner. Wonderful.