The Altadena Library District was awarded $72,000 Tuesday to remove potentially dangerous asbestos material from the ceiling and roof of the district's library at 600 E. Mariposa St.
The County Board of Supervisors agreed to pass along a federal community development grant after county health officials confirmed that leaks in the library's roof had damaged parts of the asbestos-coated ceiling, leaving the spray-on covering brittle and susceptible to flaking.
When fibers flake into the air, asbestos can be inhaled and cause lung cancer. The longer the exposure, the greater the risk, researchers say.
William Tema, the district's chief administrator, said consultants have reported that the library is safe because the brittle ceiling cover is very hard and undamaged. "But there's always the threat that it could become airborne, and if people breathe it that could be dangerous," Tema said.
The library will be closed Thanksgiving week or the week before Christmas for the ceiling and roof repairs, he said.