A National theatre in Dublin, Ireland is being closed for two months following the revelation that it may contain an asbestos risk to theatergoers that needs to be removed.
Officials at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin recently announced that after meeting with consultants and health officials they had decided to close the theatre so asbestos abatement procedures could take place. The theatre had been scheduled to host a staging of The Plough and the Stars from July 26-September 15, but the performance has now been moved to another theatre.
The asbestos abatement work at the theatre will be performed with the assistance of Ireland safety officials.
"There is no health risk whatsoever for staff or patrons, which has been confirmed by ongoing weekly air-quality tests, carried out by a specialist analytical company,” a spokesman for the theatre said, according to the Belfast Telegraph. “We have opted to fully remove the asbestos for the long-term safety of our staff because theatre involves a lot of technical work and staff may be required to work in the areas where asbestos was identified."
Whether it is in Ireland or the United States, many old theatres contain construction or set products that were built using asbestos as a flame retardant. As these theatres age, it is more likely that asbestos products could become damaged and release inhalable fibers into the air.
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