The athletics facilities here at Caltech include 2 main gymnasiums: Scott Brown Gym and the newer Braun Athletics Facility. Brown Gym has been undergoing renovations, and after some of these renovations, the main entrance to the facilities was temporarily relocated from Braun to Brown. However, on December 5th, Caltech’s Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Office was notified that a sample of dust collected in a private office in Brown returned detectable amounts of asbestos. Caltech then closed access to Brown pending a full investigation and moved the entrance back to Braun.

On December 6th a certified asbestos inspector performed air and surface tests throughout Brown and determined that there was no detectable asbestos in the air and the locker rooms, and that the new all-gender restroom, and the south weight room could all be reopened, which they were on the 7th. Surface tests returned detectable amounts of asbestos in two dust samples collected in the office, but tests determined that there was no active source of asbestos.

The lobby and office were kept closed until early February to facilitate thorough cleaning. Some items, such as the climbing rental shoes, were too difficult to clean and were replaced. Asbestos-containing building materials do not pose a threat to safety; only when the asbestos fibers become airborne and are inhaled there becomes risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.