Environmental Health & Safety Manual
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22 - ASBESTOS-CONTAINING MATERIALS
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral which was commonly added to a variety of building products in the past. Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) may include, but are not limited to: thermal system insulation on pipes, boilers, ducts, tanks, etc.; flooring products and associated adhesives; fire-proofing insulation; plaster; acoustical or decorative finishes; drywall and joint compound, laboratory fume hoods, countertops and sinks; cement products, packings and gaskets, roofing materials, caulks and putties, and ceiling tiles. Although most types of ACM are more common in buildings constructed prior to 1980, newer buildings could contain select types of asbestos products as well.
Asbestos may also be found in other items not associated with buidling products, such as laboratory equipment and fire blankets.
Do not perform work impacting or disturbing suspect materials until you have verified whether the material is asbestos-containing. Contact Facilities Maintenance & Operations (FMO) or Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) for information regarding known ACMs in campus facilities or refer to the CUA Asbestos Operations & Maintenance Plan.
- EMPLOYEE TRAINING
- In 1910.1001, the Asbestos in General Industry Standard, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration mandates awareness training for certain employees who work in areas which contain ACM. EHS offers such training upon employment and annually to FMO, Facilities Administration & Services (FAS) and Facilities Planning & Construction (FPC) personnel. Training includes the health effects of asbestos exposure, locations of known ACM throughout campus properties and details on how to recognize and report damage to such materials once noted. FMO and FAS management is responsible for informing EHS of new employees who require training prior to deployment to work activities.
- REPORTING DAMAGE
- Employees who observe damage to ACM resulting from physical impact (water leaks, floods, drilling, cutting, sawing, etc.), vibration, air erosion, or other source are responsible for reporting damage immediately to their supervisor, the Facilities Service Desk, or EHS. Common examples of damage may include loose or chipped floor tile, crumbling plaster, and unwrapped thermal system insulation. FMO and/or EHS may initiate air monitoring and proper remediation depending on the circumstances.
- ABATEMENT ACTIVITIES
- Local and federal regulations require training and licensing to perform asbestos abatement activities. Such activities are not to be performed by CUA staff. Any work impacting or disturbing ACM is to be contracted to an appropriately licensed remediation firm. Air monitoring by an independent industrial hygiene firm is required for all abatement activities, including small-scale repair projects. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, air monitoring services are not to be provided by the abatement firm. An industrial hygiene firm is under contract with EHS for provision of such services.
- EHS formally inspects the condition of known and accessible ACM once a year during annual building inspections. Documentation of the inspection is included within a report which is forwarded to various FMO personnel and the building administrator. The report should be made available to occupying staff/faculty.
- FMO is responsible for relaying information regarding known locations of ACM to all contractors working in university facilities.
Laboratory equipment with exposed, friable asbestos-containing materials shall not be utilized. If laboratory personnel suspect they have asbestos-containing lab equipment, contact EHS to arrange any necessary testing and/or disposal.