Asbestos, The Most Regulated Hazardous Material You Will Encounter:
At AM/PM our goal is to ensure that our clients are aware of the facts and regulations regarding Asbestos, in order to help them avoid health risks, fines and possible litigation. As part of our FAQ section, we have taken the time to provide you with valuable information that could protect you in the future.
Fact: Many people believe that asbestos is a problem of the past and that it was banned in the United States decades ago. The truth is, the use of asbestos has never been banned in the US.
More than 3,000 products that contain asbestos continue to be imported from developing countries, many of which are building materials used in construction today.
Materials including; wall & associated joint compounds, plaster & stucco, vinyl floor tiles, floor sheeting & associated adhesives, roofing tar, felt & mastic, and myriad of others.
Another common misconception regarding asbestos is that only older buildings (built prior to 1980) contain asbestos, providing a false sense of security that newer buildings are free of asbestos, and therefore Asbestos NESHAP (National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants) regulations do not apply to those structures. This misconception can prove to be costly, and litigious, not just for the contractor performing the work, but for everyone involved, including:
• Property managers/owners procuring the renovations
• Workers performing repairs/ renovations inside a building
• Tenants who may be exposed to asbestos fibers in the air, as a result of improper demolition of materials containing asbestos
Who Regulates Asbestos?
The EPA Environmental Protection Agency regulates public, commercial , industrial, and apartment buildings of four units or more
AHERA– regulates schools
OSHA – regulates worker safety
When is Asbestos Harmful?
Asbestos containing building materials pose no harm to people unless those materials are disturbed and the fibers become airborne. When inhaled, the fibers can remain in the body for years, sometimes even decades, eventually leading to asbestos-related diseases.
Who is Most Likely to Disturb Asbestos?
Workers/trades people carrying out maintenance and repair jobs such as cutting or drilling into walls, ceilings or partitions; home owners and remodeling companies performing repairs on a home, such as roofing, demolition, and restoration companies who are not aware of/don’t adhere to NESHAP regulations when removing damaged building materials after a flood, fire, etc.
The commercial building I manage is only 10 years old. Would it fall under Asbestos NESHAP?