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BOZEMAN - One of MSU's largest buildings is closed after it was discovered that workers were removing ceiling tiles for three weeks without proper precautions to prevent the possible release of asbestos dust.

The eight-story Leon Johnson Hall was closed Thursday evening and will remain so until at least Monday, when air contamination test results are expected to come in.

The closure meant that classrooms and lecture halls used by 2,000 students a day were closed Friday. Dozens of professors, graduate students and research scientists also weren't allowed into their labs and offices.

Asbestos can cause fatal lung diseases if inhaled.

By coincidence, a Bozeman company had been hired to check several MSU buildings, and one of its employees saw workers throwing away ceiling tiles that were made with asbestos.

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