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Boston-Area College and Construction Company Fined for Asbestos Violations

EMSL Analytical is the nation’s largest asbestos testing lab with over 30 years experience.


Though they deny any wrongdoing, Boston’s Emerson College and Suffolk Construction, Inc. have each agreed to pay $250,000 to settle civil allegations stemming from an asbestos violation. According to the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley, the college and construction company failed to properly test a building for asbestos before converting it into a dormitory for student living.

Emerson College purchased the Colonial Building in Boston in 2006 and hired Suffolk to perform renovations on the building. A consultant hired to determine levels of asbestos in the building was not able to access all areas of the building for testing. He recommended that further testing be done when the areas were accessible.

Allegedly, Emerson and Suffolk ignored this report and failed to conduct further asbestos testing before moving forward with their renovations.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “If products containing asbestos are disturbed, the tiny fibers are released into the air. When they are breathed in, they can become trapped in the lungs and stay there for many years. Over time these fibers can accumulate and lead to serious health problems, including Asbestosis, an inflammatory condition of lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and eventually scarring of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe; mesothelioma, a rare cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, chest cavity, or abdomen; and lung cancer.”

“It is crucial to perform asbestos testing in buildings constructed before the 1970’s before moving forward with any demolition or renovation projects,” states, Ed Cahill, VP of EMSL’s  Asbestos Division. “Asbestos fibers which may be present can become airborne during construction projects, and this is when they pose a health problem.”
Each of EMSL’s 31 locations is equipped and accredited to test for the presence of asbestos in the air, soil, water, or bulk building materials.

For more information regarding EMSL’s asbestos services please call 800-220-3675 or visit

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is a full service testing company providing quality lab services under the same private ownership since 1981. Including the corporate lab facility in Cinnaminson, NJ, EMSL Analytical operates over thirty laboratories nationwide in the US and Canada. We provide analytical services for environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene, forensics and materials science, consumer products, food safety, PCR, pharmaceutical, asbestos, lead, and radiological samples. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


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