Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that has been used commonly in building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. EPA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have banned several asbestos products. Manufacturers have also voluntarily limited uses of asbestos. Asbestos is most commonly found in older homes, in pipe and furnace insulation materials, asbestos shingles, millboard, textured paints and other coating materials, and floor tiles. When asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed by repair, remodeling or demolition activities, microscopic fibers become airborne and can be inhaled into the lungs, where they can cause significant health problems.
Before starting a project that disturbs asbestos, contractors should be aware that disturbed asbestos is very hazardous to building site workers and visitors. Safe removal of asbestos usually requires respirators, liquid wetting agents, a negative air pressure enclosure and special training to prevent worker and building occupant exposure to the microscopic fibers.
The following materials have been made available by US Government Agencies to help you deal with this job site hazard:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
EPA's National Asbestos Home Page
- What is asbestos?
- Asbestos health effects
- Where can asbestos be found?
- What if I have asbestos in my home?
- Where can I find an accredited laboratory to test for asbestos?
- EPA's role in asbestos - Other federal asbestos efforts
EPA Demolition Practices Under The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos (NESHAP)
- Pre-Demolition Building Status
- Abatement Prior to Demolition
- Intentional Burning
- Resilient Floor Covering (Tiles)
- Asphalt Roofing Products
- Asbestos-Cement Products
- Onsite Waste Handling Procedures
Guidance for Catastrophic Emergency Situations Involving Asbestos
- Acronyms and Abbreviations
- The Regulation of Asbestos
- Catastrophic Events and the Applicability of the Asbestos NESHAP
- Asbestos Test Methods
- Catastrophic Events and Case Studies Involving Asbestos
- Preparing in Advance for Emergencies
List of Commonly Requested Asbestos Documents
- Asbestos in the Home: A Homeowner's Guide
- Managing Asbestos in Place: A Building Owner's Guide to Operations and Maintenance Programs
- Asbestos in Buildings: Guidance for Service and Maintenance Personnel
- 100 Commonly Asked Questions About the New AHERA Asbestos-in-Schools Rule
- Asbestos and Your Health
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
The Asbestos Advisor 2.0 Compliance Software
- General guidance
- Individual project guidance
- Answers to frequently asked questions about asbestos
- Detailed text of regulations
Asbestos And Construction
- Assigned Protection Factors; Final Rule
- Clarification of decontamination procedures for employees involved in Class I asbestos work. (2007, March 1)
- Application of construction standard to demolition operations involving material less than 1% asbestos
- Construction industry asbestos standard definition of "regulated area" and requirements for demolition projects
- Application of the asbestos standard to demolition of buildings with ACM in place
- Asbestos and the Hazard Communication Standard
- HAZWOPER and Asbestos standards uncontrolled hazardous substance release involving the presence of asbestos
Asbestos in Construction Standard
- Demolition or salvage of structures where asbestos is present
- Removal or encapsulation of materials containing asbestos
- Transportation, disposal, storage, containment of asbestos
- Time-weighted average limit (TWA)
- Permissible exposure limits (PELS)
- Exposure Assessment Initial
Asbestos Safety and Health Topics
- What is asbestos?
- What are the hazards of asbestos?
- What can be done to reduce the hazards of asbestos?
- How can OSHA Help?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
CPSC Warns About Asbestos in Consumer Products: Safety Alert
- Asbestos paper and millboard
- Asbestos-cement sheet
- Dry-mix asbestos furnace or boiler cement
- Asbestos wood/coal stove door gaskets
- Central hot-air furnace duct connectors containing asbestos
- Air Sampling
- Exposure Levels
- Advice To Consumers
Asbestos In The Home
- What Is Asbestos?
- How Can Asbestos Affect My Health?
- Where Can I Find Asbestos And When Can It Be A Problem?