Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 20:15:14 -0700
Reply-To: tonnsj**At_Symbol_Here**PLU.EDU
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: tonnsj**At_Symbol_Here**PLU.EDU
Subject: Re: 1920's College Chem Lab
Comments: cc: Julie Jarrah
In-Reply-To: <000801c80a9b$2b06be50$673c0e98**At_Symbol_Here**>

Several years ago we remodelled an old chem area and found puddles of
mercury under casework.  More recently we were negotiating a purchase of a
dental clinic and even found mercury under the building. For a brief
perior we thought about rehabbing the building so we had air monitoring
for mercury. Air concentrations were above Washington State Health
standards, but below OSHA standards. (Air monitoring was a convenient and
relatively cheap way to determine the presence of mercury.)Mercury was
found in countertop and floor tile crevices, around drains as well as in
them, and amalgamated to the heating ducts.  We declined to purchase the
property until the mercury was cleaned up, ultimately through demolition
of the building and soil removal. While a dental clinic is different than
a chem lab, the ubiquitous presence of mercury was disquieting. You may
also find silver and cadmium contamination in labs.

Sheri Tonn
VP, Finance and Operations
Professor of Chemistry
Pacific Luthran University

   > There were many things that could have been used.
> PCBs were used as heating oils and microscope density
> liquids.  They would have most certainly used benzene,
> methylene chloride, and carbon tetrachloride.  You mention,
> the floors are asbestos, I'd like to see that.  You also have
> to look at all the benchtops and hoods which may be asbestos.
> If the piping is still present on the lab benches, I would think
> it might be lead paint.  I would think my biggest worry other
> than the asbestos would be mercury in the drain traps.
> Henry Boyter, Jr., PhD
> Director of EHS Services
> Institute of Textile Technology
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Larry D. McLouth" 
> To: 
> Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2007 12:54 PM
> Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] 1920's College Chem Lab
>> If by heavy metals you mean mercury then you are more than likely to
>> find
>> it....from broken thermometers, etc.
>> Larry
>> Julie Jarrah wrote:
>>> I am part of a group who is determining the safest way to 'tear down'
>>> an
>>> old college chemistry lab building that was built in the 1920's.  We
>>> know
>>> that the underlying floors are asbestos and that heavy metals are a
>>> concern.
>>> Are there any other major concerns that I should be aware of or need to
>>> look into?  Please advise.
>>> Thank you,
>>> J J Schwartz
>>> Safety Officer
>>> Bethlehem, PA
>>> 610-625-8047
>>> ____________________________________________________________________________________
>>> Need a vacation? Get great deals
>>> to amazing places on Yahoo! Travel.

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