Encountering Asbestos


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Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found in certain rocks. It separates into strong, thin fibers that are invisible to the naked eye. Asbestos is strong, fire and corrosion resistant, and a good insulator. It was typically used in building materials as an additive to enhance strength in concrete, asphalt, roof shingles, siding, wall board, floor tiles, joint compounds and adhesives. Since Asbestos can be a great source of stability and flame control it was used in building materials before the mid-1970s and occasionally until the late 1980’s.

If the building materials mentioned above contain more than one percent asbestos as determined with polarized light microscopy (PLM) they are considered asbestos-containing materials (ACM). ACM can be friable or non-friable. Friable ACM is dry and can be crumbled or reduced to a powder by hand. Friable ACM presents greater risks to human health than non-friable ACM. When dry, non-friable ACM cannot be crumbled or reduced to a powder with hand pressure.

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Encountering Asbestos

  1. 1. ENCOUNTERING ASBESTOS www.amienvironmental.com
  2. 2. What is Asbestos? Natural mineral that occurs in rocks Has varied uses and has been seen in products for centuries Widespread use of asbestos beginning in the late 1800s By the 1970s, asbestos was used in: — Insulation — Fireproofing — Pipe wrap www.amienvironmental.com
  3. 3. What is Asbestos? ACMs Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are any materials containing more than one percent asbestos Presumed ACMs include thermal system insulation and surfacing material found in buildings constructed before 1981 ACMs are divided into two basic groups: — Friable — Non-friable www.amienvironmental.com
  4. 4. What is Asbestos? Friable ACMs  Greater than one percent asbestos  When dry, it can be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure  Releases fibers more readily  Friable ACM is found in: — SM — Thermal insulationThe WTC contained 400 tons ofa friable asbestos/cementmixture www.amienvironmental.com
  5. 5. What is Asbestos? Non-Friable ACMs Cannot be reduced to powder, when dry, by hand pressure Is safer than friable ACMs Can release asbestos fibers when cut, sanded or drilled Non-friable ACM is found in: — Roofing material — Gaskets — Floor tile — Exterior siding — Table tops — Transite pipes www.amienvironmental.com
  6. 6. What is Asbestos? Categories of ACMs Category I ACMs: Asbestos-containing resilient floor covering, asphalt roofing products, packings, gaskets and mastic Category II ACMs: All remaining types of non- friable ACM not included in Category I that, when dry, cannot be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure — Non-friable asbestos cement products (transite) www.amienvironmental.com
  7. 7. What is Asbestos? Properties Characterized by its soft, pliant properties Nearly indestructible Resists heat, chemical corrosion and friction Does not conduct electricity Has high thermal and tensile strength Insulates well against condensation, heat and noise www.amienvironmental.com
  8. 8. What is Asbestos? Health Effects A known carcinogen in humans When inhaled, asbestos fibers become lodged in the lung tissue or alveoli, clogging and scarring the tissues Can cause disabling or fatal diseases, including: — Asbestosis (scarring of the lung) — Lung cancer — Mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the chest or lining of the abdominal wall) www.amienvironmental.com
  9. 9. Where Can Asbestos Be Found? SM — Sprayed on the structural members of high-rise buildings to prevent warping or collapsing in a fire — May have been painted or encapsulated with a sealant — May be concealed behind suspended ceilings or wall systems — May collect as dust on top of ceiling panels — May be sprayed on nearby walls and ceilings www.amienvironmental.com
  10. 10. Where Can Asbestos Be Found? (cont) Thermal system insulation — Used on boilers, pipes and ducts for thermal insulation and condensation control Asbestos cement products — Generally made of Portland cement, aggregate and chrysotile fibers — Common products include:  Wallboard  Siding and roofing  Cladding and partitions  Pipes www.amienvironmental.com
  11. 11. Where Can Asbestos Be Found? (cont) Asbestos vinyl and asphalt — Floor tile and covering — Roofing felts and shingles — Exterior siding — Joint compounds and adhesives — Asphalt additive Acoustical materials Decorative materials Friction products www.amienvironmental.com
  12. 12. Where Can Asbestos Be Found? (cont) It is estimated that one-half of all multi-story buildings in the United States, built between 1950 and 1970, have some form of asbestos Approximately 66% of asbestos materials used today are in asbestos-cement products — Corrugated roofing and panels — Drain pipes and gutters — Flat sheets and siding — Pressure pipes www.amienvironmental.com
  13. 13. How Did Asbestos Get There? By 1936, asbestos had become the single most common construction material in the United States and can be found in a variety of building and other materials The U.S. did not accept asbestos as a disease- producing agent until 1960, and bans on asbestos didn’t begin until more than 10 years later The known health hazards of asbestos ultimately resulted in bans on several products Most bans were mandatory, but some were voluntary www.amienvironmental.com
  14. 14. How Did Asbestos Get There? Mandatory Bans 1973: Dry spray-applied friable material banned by EPA 1975: Molded or wet-applied thermal system insulation banned by EPA 1977: Asbestos-containing compounds and emberizing materials banned by Consumer Products Safety Commission 1978: All spray-applied materials banned by EPA www.amienvironmental.com
  15. 15. How Can You Get Rid of Asbestos? Asbestos in buildings is not always a hazard If asbestos is in good condition, the EPA recommends that it be left alone and periodic surveillance be performed to monitor its condition If asbestos is damaged, disturbed or has deteriorated, it becomes a health hazard and must be addressed www.amienvironmental.com
  16. 16. How Can You Get Rid of Asbestos? Causes of Damage Asbestos-containing materials can be damaged by: — Age — Water — Air erosion — Vibration — Touching or gouging www.amienvironmental.com
  17. 17. How Can You Get Rid of Asbestos? Identifying Hazards Asbestos can be released into the air by: — Fallout (results from the aging and deterioration of bonding agents that hold the asbestos product together) — Impact (results from striking, cutting and penetration) — Re-entrainment (results from the disturbance of settled fibers) All can be minimized by proper work practices www.amienvironmental.com
  18. 18. How Can You Get Rid of Asbestos? Regulated ACMs EPA defines regulated ACMs as: — Friable asbestos material — Category I non-friable ACM that has become friable — Category I non-friable ACM that will be or has been subjected to sanding, grinding, cutting or abrading www.amienvironmental.com
  19. 19. How Can You Get Rid of Asbestos? Regulated ACMs (cont) EPA defines regulated ACMs as: — Category II non-friable ACM that has a high probability of becoming or has become crumbled, pulverized, or reduce to powder by the forces expected to act on the material in the course of demolition or renovation www.amienvironmental.com
  20. 20. How Can You Get Rid of Asbestos? Requirements All friable and non-friable materials should be removed prior to demolition Mastics and adhesives can be left in the facility during demolition if they are Category I non-friable ACMs and the probability is low that the materials will become crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder during demolition www.amienvironmental.com
  21. 21. How Can You Get Rid of Asbestos? Requirements (cont) During demolition, if a facility component contains, is covered with or is coated with RACM is being taken out of the facility as a unit or in a section, the demolition contractor should adequately wet all RACM exposed during cutting or disjoining operation www.amienvironmental.com
  22. 22. Multi Employer Worksites• Interpretation and compliance with the OSHA “multi-employer” construction work site standard often varies depending on the jurisdiction.• The presence of asbestos containing building materials (ACBM) dictates communication of the hazard to all employers and their employees by the party who will or may be disturbing the ACBM in conjunction with their work site activities.• OSHA requires that all hazards associated with the presence and disturbance of asbestos is performed by competent personnel who have received the appropriate training are equipped with proper personal protective equipment. www.amienvironmental.com
  23. 23. Multi Employer Worksites Cont.When citations will be given.Employers normally shall be cited, whether or not their own employeesare exposed: The employer who actually creates the hazard (the creating employer) The employer who is responsible, by contract or through actual practice, for safety and health conditions on the worksite; the employer who has the authority for ensuring that the hazardous condition is corrected (the controlling employer) The employer who has the responsibility for actually correcting the hazard (the correcting employer). www.amienvironmental.com
  24. 24. Multi Employer Worksites Cont.How to avoid being cited.Prior to issuing citations to an exposing employer, it must first bedetermined whether the available facts indicate that employer has alegitimate defense to the citation as set forth below: The employer did not create the hazard. The employer did not have the responsibility or the authority to have the hazard corrected. The employer did not have the ability to correct or remove the hazard. www.amienvironmental.com
  25. 25. How to Avoid Being Cited Cont. The employer can demonstrate that the creating, the controlling and/or the correcting employers have been specifically notified of the hazards to which his/her employees are exposed to. The employer has instructed his/her employees to recognize the hazard and, where necessary, informed them how to avoid the dangers associated with it. - Where feasible, an exposing employer must have taken appropriate alternative means of protecting employees from the hazard . - When extreme circumstances justify it, the exposing employer shall have removed his/her employees from the job to avoid citation. www.amienvironmental.com
  26. 26. Multi Employer Worksites Cont.What happens if a company met OSHA’s requirements?• If an employer meets all the criteria, the employer shall not be cited.• If all employers on a worksite with employees exposed to a hazard meet these conditions, then the citation shall be issued only to the employers who are responsible for creating the hazard.• A citation would also go to the employer who is in the best position to correct the hazard or to ensure its correction.• The controlling employer and the hazard-creating employer shall be cited even though no employees of those employers are exposed to the dangerous condition.• Penalties for such citations shall be appropriately calculated, using the exposed employees of all employers as the number of employees for probability assessment. www.amienvironmental.com
  27. 27. Classes of Work• There are four different classes of work for removing or performing maintenance on asbestos.• Many people get confused on the differences between the classes and what type of work can be done.• The classes of work range from class I to class IV. • Class I is the most dangerous of the classes and needs the most amount training to do. • Where class IV is not as dangerous and will not require the same amount of training.• All the classes will need over site by a competent person and follow OSHA guidelines. However, if asbestos removal work is not done properly in any class it can have adverse effects on a person’s health. www.amienvironmental.com
  28. 28. Classes of WorkClass I work• Class I work is the most potentially dangerous class of asbestos jobs.• Class I work involves the removing of thermal insulation systems and sprayed- on/toweled-on surfacing materials that contain asbestos. Whenever a job is going to be started the employer must presume that they are dealing with construction pre-1981 construction that it is ACM.• All Class I work needs to have a competent person, which is someone who can identify asbestos hazards on the job site and will have the authority to correct them.• In order to be considered a competent person, they will need comprehensive training course for contractors and supervisors certified by the EPA or a state approved training provider. www.amienvironmental.com
  29. 29. Classes of WorkClass II work• Class II work is very similar to class I work with the exception that the removal of thermal system insulation such as resilient flooring and roofing materials is not allowed.• Class II work does include the removal of asbestos-containing flooring and ceiling tiles, siding, roofing and transit panels.• For class II work there must still be a competent person present who will be able to make any corrections. The same amount of training is needed just as class I would have. www.amienvironmental.com
  30. 30. Classes of WorkClass III work• Employers must use wet methods and local exhaust ventilation, to the extent feasible, for Class III work.• Drilling, cutting, sanding, chipping, breaking, abrading, or sawing ACM, employers must use impermeable drop cloths as well as mini- enclosures, glove bag systems and any other effective isolation methods.• Employers must ensure that all employees are wearing the proper respirators and they are correctly working at all times. A competent person must inspect frequently and asses changing conditions and upon employee request. www.amienvironmental.com
  31. 31. Classes of WorkClass IV work• Employees who are conducting Class IV work must have to attend an asbestos awareness training program.• They must also use wet methods and HEPA vacuums to properly clean ACM or PACM.• When cleaning debris and trash in regulated areas, employees must wear respirators.• Class IV is mainly for janitorial duties but should still use precaution for any debris could be an asbestos containing material.• Just like in the rest of the classes a competent person will need to oversee the process and make any corrections based up on the conditions or upon the employee’s request. www.amienvironmental.com
  32. 32. What are NESHAP regulations?• Under the CAA federal regulations were created to form NESHAP that applies to facility owners and contractors who perform work in public and commercial buildings.• NESHAP regulations address common small business activities such as milling, manufacturing and fabricating operations.• They also address demolition and renovation activities, waste disposal issues, active and inactive waste disposal sites, and asbestos conversion processes. www.amienvironmental.com
  33. 33. Frequently Asked QuestionsWhen is an asbestos inspection required? An inspection is required under the NESHAPStandard prior to any renovation and/or demolition activities of a building or structure.Why is an inspection required? In accordance with the NESHAP Standard, writtennotification must be made to the EPA 10 days prior to any site work if asbestoscontaining materials were identified during the survey in quantities greater than 160lineal and 260 square feet.What are the chances that I would find asbestos present in a facility? If the structureswere constructed prior to 1981 the presence of asbestos containing building materials islikely.Are there any special requirements that a building owner is responsible for? Yes thereare a number including hazard communication, work practices and procedures, andcradle to grave liability exposure to name a few. www.amienvironmental.com
  34. 34. Frequently Asked Questions Do the same rules apply to friable and non-friable? There are some variations based onthe type of building material, proposed work practices and/or anticipated disposition ofthe asbestos, and local jurisdiction.What should be done with the asbestos after it has been properly removed? The NESHAPStandard also regulates the transportation and disposal of asbestos waste. All materialsmust be labeled and disposed in a designated landfill.If the latency period for contracting a disease from asbestos exposure is so long (30 to 50)years why don’t they save money on the personal protective equipment and just usedeath row inmates for abatement workers instead?What do I do if asbestos is present and will be disturbed in conjunction with site workactivities? All work associated with asbestos containing building materials in public orcommercial facilities must be performed by workers trained in accordance with theUSEPA ASHREA Standard.What if I am not sure if a building material contains asbestos? The Occupational Safetyand Health Administration (OSHA) dictates that all suspect materials are to be presumedasbestos containing materials until determined otherwise. www.amienvironmental.com