1 Purpose Scope Asbestos The scope of these requirements is limited to (1) general industry custodial and maintenance operations and brake and clutch repair and (2) construction and shipyard Class III and Class IV custodial and maintenance operations, Class II removal of intact flooring and roofing according to the flooring and roofing settlement agreements, and (unclassified) removal, installation, repair, and maintenance of incidental roofing material. OSHA regulations are the main focus of these requirements. Other asbestos regulations are discussed briefly. E Background Requirements for protection of state employees against asbestos fibers have been established to provide guidelines for compliance with the three OSHA asbestos regulations 29 CFR (general industry), 29 CFR (construction), and 29 CFR (shipyard employment) and the settlement agreements covering intact flooring and roofing materials that are the subject of OSHA Instruction dated November 3, Requirement It is the requirement of the State to provide a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees or the public. Therefore, asbestos will always be handled in a careful manner to minimize exposure. When these hazards exist that cannot be eliminated, the engineering practices, administrative practices, safe work practices, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and proper training regarding asbestos will be implemented. These measures will be implemented to minimize those hazards to ensure the safety of employees and the public. Exposure Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral contained in certain rock formations. Asbestos fibers are released into the environment not only as a result of damage and deterioration of asbestos products, but also due to natural erosion of asbestos-containing rock. We re all exposed to asbestos to some degree just by breathing in and out. Individuals who actively work with asbestos can, of course, be expected to have exposures greater than the general population. OSHA has regulations to minimize the exposure of asbestos workers. Medical Aspects Medical Aspects Asbestos fibers can be admitted to the body in two ways by inhalation and by ingestion. The health effects, if any, of ingestion have not been established. Information about the health effects of very low levels of asbestos in air levels found in the environment and in today s workplace is practically non-existent. The effects, however, appear to be negligible to nil. In any case, any risk associated with low level exposure to airborne asbestos in the environment is not manageable since there s not much we can do about it short of removing all the asbestos-containing rock from the earth.
2 On the other hand, breathing high levels of asbestos for prolonged periods can cause asbestosis. Studies also show a statistical association between asbestos and cancer. The role of asbestos in causing cancer may soon be established scientifically as the result of new techniques developed that link cigarette smoke to lung cancer. (Science, Oct., 1996). These same techniques can likely be used for other suspect carcinogens, such as asbestos. Risk of Working in Buildings Containing Asbestos Risk of Working in Buildings Containing Asbestos Factors EPA uses to assess the health hazards of asbestos in buildings include the condition of asbestos (friable, damaged); location (near air handling systems, in occupied spaces); extent of damage, whether the damage is distributed or localized, and potential for disturbance (air movement, vibration, construction). Results of tests indicate that occupants of buildings under the worst situations are unlikely to be exposed to airborne concentrations of asbestos exceeding background. Studies show that even in buildings where ceiling decks are covered with damaged, friable, sprayed-on material containing 10 to 20% asbestos and where the space between the suspended ceiling and the deck serve as a return air plenum, concentrations do not exceed background. (AIHAJ, Sept., 1994.) OSHA Regulations OSHA Regulations OSHA regulations apply wherever there is accessible asbestos containing material (ACM) or presumed asbestos containing material (PACM) in the workplace. OSHA defines any material containing more than 1% asbestos as ACM. Thermal system insulation (TSI), surfacing material (SM), resilient flooring installed before 1981, and debris and dust in areas where non-intact TSI and SM are present are PACM. TSI is ACM applied to prevent heat loss or gain. SM consists of sprayed-on and troweled-on ACM that was applied for decorative and acoustical purposes early on and was later applied as insulation coating to protect structural steel during fires. Almost any flooring material may contain asbestos, but only resilient flooring installed before 1981 is PACM. Resilient flooring consists of vinyl/asbestos and asphalt/asbestos floor tile, sheet flooring backed with asbestos felt, and asphaltic cutback adhesive. OSHA has established two permissible exposure limits (PELs) for asbestos. The 8 hour time weighted average (TWA) PEL for asbestos is 0.1 fibers/cubic centimeter of air. This is the dose 800,000 fibers per 8-hour day workers can inhale day after day over a 40 year working life without unacceptable risk. The 30 minute TWA PEL is 1 f/cc. Acute effects associated with exposure to asbestos are non-existent. The OSHA construction and shipyard employment standards match four classes of decreasingly hazardous types of construction, Class I, II, III, and IV operations, with decreasingly stringent control requirements. Each class of operations has a prescribed set of controls and work practices. Only work involving installation, removal, repair, and maintenance of intact incidental roofing materials (cements, coatings, mastics, and flashings) and similar materials such as asphaltic pipe wrap, is unclassified. Settlement agreements apply to intact flooring and roofing materials. Intact ACM/PACM is ACM/PACM that has not crumbled, been pulverized, or otherwise deteriorated so that the asbestos fibers are no longer likely to be bound within the matrix. Class I operations involve removal of TSI and SM such as removal of ACM/PACM fireproofing on structural members and stripping TSI from pipes. Class II operations involve removal of
3 ACM/PACM which is not TSI or SM such as ceiling tiles, flooring, roofing, siding, and transite panels. Class III operations involve repair and maintenance work and work by tradesmen (e.g., electricians) where there is disturbance of ACM/PACM but where the disturbance is incidental to the task at hand. A disturbance means an activity that (1) disrupts the matrix, (2) crumbles or pulverizes ACM, or (3) generates visible debris of ACM or PACM. A disturbance is distinguished from a removal in that it is limited to removal of small amounts (less than a single 60 x 60 waste or glove bag) of ACM/PACM; e.g., removal of ACM/PACM to access an electrical box or to repair a valve. Class IV operations include maintenance and custodial activities on construction sites where workers contact but do not disturb ACM or PACM. Class IV work does not include collection and bagging of asbestos waste and debris during a removal or disturbance. The general industry and shipyard employment regulations for maintenance and custodial (housekeeping) operations mirror the regulation for Class IV operations except that monitoring and assessment and supervision by a competent person is not mandatory for general industry work. A competent person (called a qualified person in shipyards) conducts initial exposure assessments, monitors exposures, and supervises Class I, II, III, and IV asbestos work. An asbestos coordinator oversees asbestos activities covered by the general industry standard. Building owners are defined as the legal entities, including lessees, which exercises control over management and recordkeeping functions relating to a building or facility. Owners/lessees must: Keep records of the location and amount of known ACM and of PACM that has been visually identified by a knowledgeable person and Notify basically everyone, either in writing or by personal communication, of the location and amount of ACM/PACM including: Employers of contract workers who may contact or disturb ACM/PACM Building occupants who may incidentally contact or disturb ACM/PACM Individuals occupying areas in or adjacent to asbestos construction work Their own workers who actively engage in asbestos work Owners must keep Records of exposure for 30 years Objective data that show material will not release fibers above the PELs for the period of reliance Records of training for 1 year after last date of employment Medical surveillance records for duration of employment plus 30 years Records of ACM/PACM in the facility for as long as the facility exists. Owners must transfer records to new owners and make these records available to employees and others specified in the standard. To comply with 29 CFR , owners must give employees or their designated representatives access to records within 15 working days of the request when feasible and train these employees annually about this regulation. When feasible, owners must Label ACM/PACM to warn people who would not otherwise be aware of the presence of asbestos. Post signs at entrances to mechanical areas containing asbestos and at entrances to regulated areas.
4 A competent/qualified person needs to make an initial exposure assessment before Class I, II, III or IV work and work on incidental roofing materials begins. A negative exposure assessment is produced when an initial exposure assessment demonstrates that exposures will be consistently below the PELs. If a negative exposure assessment is not produced personal monitoring and additional control measures are required. Objective data and historical monitoring can be used to produce a negative exposure assessment. Objective data is based on statistical data from many jobs including situations having the greatest potential for releasing fibers. It cannot be used for SM and TSI. Historical monitoring data can also be used to demonstrate that fiber levels will not exceed the PELs, providing it was collected within a year of the assessment. Employers must train all asbestos workers initially and annually thereafter as follows: Class III and Class IV competent/qualified persons: 16 hours of initial operations and maintenance training covering the topics set forth in EPA publication 20T-2003, Managing Asbestos In Place, dated July, Intact flooring Class II competent persons: 12 hours of initial training covering the topics listed in the flooring settlement agreement. Unclassified construction competent persons: Specialized training covering the topics listed in the roofing settlement agreement. Duration not specified. Intact primary roofing Class II competent persons: 8 hours of specialized training covering the topics listed in the roofing settlement agreement. Class III workers: OSHA leaves the duration of initial training and topics covered to the discretion of the competent person but expects a minimum of 4 hours is needed for the initial training. Class II workers who remove intact flooring using compliant work practices: 8-hours if initial specialized training covering the topics listed in the flooring settlement agreement. Class II workers who remove intact primary roofing: 8 hours of initial specialized training covering the topics listed in the settlement agreement. Class IV workers : 2 hours of initial awareness training covering the topics listed in the EPA requirements for training of maintenance and custodial staff as set forth at 40 CFR (a)(1). General industry housekeepers: Initial awareness training covering the topics listed in the EPA requirements for training of maintenance and custodial staff as set forth at 40 CFR (a)(1). Duration not specified. Unclassified construction workers including workers who remove, install, repair, and maintain intact incidental roofing: Specialized training covering the topics listed in the roofing settlement agreement. Duration not specified. Motor pool mechanics: No formal training requirements. Supervisor trains mechanics about engineering controls and work practices for brake and clutch repair and service set forth in Appendix F of the general industry asbestos standard. There are no stated requirements for trainers but it is understood the person who provides the training needs to know the subject. Employers must provide respirators to workers who work in areas where: A negative exposure assessment has not been produced TSI or SM is disturbed Monitoring shows a PEL is exceeded Work is performed not using wet methods
5 Workers respond to emergencies Other workers are required to wear respirators Respirators must, as a minimum, be as protective as non-disposable respirators with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. Employers must: Include respirator users in a respirator program Train them annually Fit test them every 6 months See that all users have undergone medical evaluation within the past year Workers may choose to wear a powered air purifying respirator providing its tight fitting and provides adequate protection. Class I, II, and III operations must be conducted in regulated areas regardless of the exposure. Even if a negative exposure assessment has been produced, demarcate and post the area with warning signs unless only trained asbestos workers have access to the area. Provide Class III and IV workers who work in areas where a negative exposure assessment has not been produced with personal protective equipment (PPE); i.e., moon suits. Provide Class III and IV workers who work in Class I or Class II regulated areas with the same type of PPE that the Class I or II workers in the area are required to wear and see that they use the same controls and follow the same work practices as those used and followed by the Class I and II workers. OSHA enforces three types of controls: OSHA Enforces Three Types of Controls 1. Controls used for all activities covered by the standard, regardless of exposure levels Vacuum cleaners equipped with HEPA filters Wet methods except where not feasible Prompt cleanup and disposal 2. Controls that apply to situations where it s expected that exposure may exceed a PEL and thus additional controls are required to keep exposures at or below a PEL HEPA-filtered local exhaust ventilation Enclosure or isolation of processes Ventilation of the regulated area that moves contaminated air away from the workers and toward a HEPA-filtered exhaust Other feasible practices or controls Respirators when need to supplement controls 3. Controls that are keyed to the four classes of construction activities. Class III controls consist of: Wet methods Local exhaust ventilation if feasible Drop cloths and enclosure methods such as mini-enclosures or glove bags when TSI or SM is drilled, cut, abraded, sanded, chipped, broken or sawed Class I controls when a negative exposure assessment has not been produced or when monitoring shows a PEL has been exceeded Class I controls consist of:
6 Negative pressure enclosure systems Glove bags Mini-enclosures Provide glove bags that are: Seamless at the bottom and made of 6 mil plastic Installed to completely cover the circumference of pipe or other structure where work is to be done Smoke tested for leaks and leaks sealed before use Used only once and not moved Collapsed using a HEPA vacuum before disposal. Wrap and seal loose and friable material adjacent to the glove bag so that it is intact before work begins. OSHA prohibits: Use of high-speed abrasive disc saws that are not locally exhausted and HEPA filtered Use of compressed air unless asbestos dust is captured in an enclosed system Dry sweeping and clean-up Employee rotation to reduce exposure. Controls specific to floor care: Use low abrasion pads at speeds lower then 300 rpm and wet methods when stripping floor finishes Limit burnishing or dry buffing to flooring that has sufficient finish so that the pad cannot contact ACM/PACM. Prohibit sanding of floors. Controls specific to brake and clutch repair Use one of the following controls: Negative pressure enclosure/hepa vacuum method Low pressure/wet cleaning method Spray can/solvent system. These methods are described in Appendix F of and Appendix L of Controls specific to removal of intact sheet vinyl flooring: HEPA vacuum the floor using a metal floor attachment before removal begins Slice flooring with a utility knife into strips 4 to 8 inches wide Roll strips tightly from end to end Constantly mist strips at the point where the material separates from the backing as they are rolled Place strips in trash bag or other leak-tight container Wet and remove residual felt with a stiff-bladed scraper after 3 strips are removed Place wet felt scrapings in leak-tight container HEPA vacuum areas from which flooring was removed as removal progresses and vacuum again after the all the flooring has been removed and dried. Controls specific to removal of intact floor tiles and associated adhesives: HEPA vacuum the floor using a metal floor attachment before removal begins
7 Pry up individual tiles with a stiff bladed scraper if the tile does not release from the adhesive when the scraper is forced under the tile by hand, strike the scraper with a hammer or heat the tile with a hot air gun or other device to soften the adhesive Alternatively, without first prying up tiles, apply heat with an infrared heat machine or other device and remove the tiles by hand or with a scraper Place tiles in a leak-tight container without further breakage Wet and scrape residual adhesive using a stiff bladed floor scraper as small areas are cleared of tile Alternatively, remove adhesive using a low speed floor machine and wetted sand or a removal solution after the tile is removed Place wet adhesive residues in a leak-tight container HEPA vacuum where the adhesive has been removed, and again after the entire floor has been removed. Controls specific to installation, removal, repair, and maintenance of intact roofing cements, coatings, mastics, flashings and similar materials such as asphaltic pipe wrap: Use manual methods which keep the material intact sanding, abrading, and grinding are prohibited Carry or pass the material to the ground by hand or lower it to the ground via covered, dust-tight chutes, cranes, or hoists by the end of the work shift dropping or throwing it to the ground is prohibited. Provide eye protection and see that it s worn in all work areas where eye irritation may be experienced. On jobs where the competent person could not come up with a negative exposure assessment, provide hygiene facilities consisting of a drop cloth and a HEPA vacuum next to the regulated area. Prohibit smoking in work areas. Provide lunch areas or rooms if work is done in an area where it is expected that PELs will be exceeded. Offer Class I, II, and III workers asbestos medical surveillance: Whose exposures exceed a PEL 30 or more days a year Who perform Class I, II, or III work 30 days or more days a year, Who wear negative pressure respirators 30 days or more a year. Do not count days when employees work one hour or less on intact ACM. Employees, even those who wear negative pressure respirators less than 30 days a year, need a medical evaluation each year. This requirement covers only those OSHA regulations that, as best as can be determined, apply to work performed by State workers. E.g., OSHA notification is not covered because it is required only for Class I construction work and then only if a new or modified control will be used. Likewise, written compliance programs are not covered because they are required only for general industry work where exposures exceed a PEL. Regulations Other Regulations EPA regulates asbestos under the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&CA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA),
8 Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act (ASHARA), and Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA has proposed an asbestos water quality criteria document for the protection of human health under CWA. A reportable quantity (RQ) of 1 lb has been established for asbestos under CERCLA. Under SDWA, EPA has proposed a recommended maximum contaminant level (RMCL) for asbestos. AHERA applies to non-profit public and private schools, grades kindergarten through 12 It s purpose is to protect schoolchildren against passive exposure to asbestos. AHERA also establishes the requirements for accredited asbestos training. ASHARA extends AHERA regulations to public and commercial building except that requirements for a management plan, clearance monitoring for all abatements, and a building inspection do not apply. National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) Asbestos Renovation and Demolition Regulation (40 CFR Part 61, Subpart M) regulates emissions of asbestos fibers to the environment under the CAA. NESHAP regulations apply to all demolitions where ACM is present and to removals and renovations involving (1) 160 square feet or more of friable ACM or ACM that is likely to become friable and (2) 260 linear feet or more of pipe insulation. Friable ACM is, by definition, ACM that can be reduced to dust by hand pressure when dry. NESHAP requires that owners notify EPA of all demolitions and obtain permits for removals and renovations exceeding the cut-off limits listed above. The Health Hazard Control Branch (HHCB) of the Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources (DEHNR), which administers NESHAP regulations in North Carolina, processes notifications and permit requests. NESHAP also requires that permitted renovations and removals be performed by trained personnel. In North Carolina, this is interpreted to mean accredited personnel. NESHAP regulations also apply to disposal of asbestos wastes from permitted removals and renovations. EPA does not classify asbestos wastes as hazardous wastes but does enforce disposal rules for ACM that is friable or likely-to-become-friable asbestos wastes. Under TSCA, EPA has proposed to prohibit or phase out the manufacture and use of asbestos in certain products. Also, under TSCA, EPA has issued standards covering asbestos workers in states where OSHA regulations are federally enforced. In addition to administering the North Carolina AHERA asbestos training and accreditation program and enforcing the NESHAP. AHERA, and ASHARA rules, the Health Hazard Control Branch (HHCB) of the Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources (DEHNR) administers and enforces the North Carolina Asbestos Hazard Management Program (AHMP) rules, G.S. 130A, Article 19(15A NCAC 19C.0600) to protect the public from exposure to asbestos fibers. HHCB also sets criteria for asbestos exposure in public places. The present maximum allowable ambient asbestos level established is 0.01 f/cc in the air in public areas. The HHCB enforces the requirement that peripheral and clearance air monitoring be performed by accredited supervisory air monitors for permitted removals in public places and that a written monitoring plan be prepared for removals that exceed 3,000 square feet, 1,500 linear feet, or 656 cubic feet of regulated (friable) ACM. Permitted asbestos removal projects involving no more than 10 square feet or 25 linear feet of friable ACM are exempt from the clearance air sampling requirements. HHCB has established a clearance level of
9 0.01 f/cc. A permissible exposure limit (PEL) and a clearance level are not the same and should not be confused. The PEL is health-based and the clearance level is a measure of cleanliness. Rules enforced by the HHCB for training and accreditation do not apply to persons working with nonfriable (intact) ACM unless the ACM is rendered friable (nonintact) by the removal techniques used, e.g., mechanical chipping of floor tiles. Nor do these rules apply to SSSD maintenance and repair jobs and activities of tradesmen such as electricians. SSSD activities are roughly the equivalent of OSHA s Class III and IV operations but in rare instances it is possible for a SSSD activity to fall in Class I or II and it is also possible for ASHARA and N. C. Statutes to override OSHA in a workplace. The North Carolina Department of Transportation enforces federal DOT asbestos regulations for transporting and manifesting friable asbestos and asbestos waste. The North Carolina Asbestos Waste Shipment Record needs to be completed for transporting wastes from permitted removals. Asbestos waste must be wetted down when it is placed in containers. DOT regulations apply only to friable ACM. DOT considers the shipment is labeled if the warning labels are on the bags of friable ACM or on the wrapped friable ACM being shipped. If the friable ACM can t be packaged and labeled e.g., if a building burns down and the debris is loaded into a dump truck using a front end loader the vehicle needs to be placarded on all four sides with the identification number NA The latest revision of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (October 1, 1992) specifically exempts non-friable ACM that has not crumbled, been pulverized, or been reduced to powder from DOT regulations. These exempted materials may be shipped without asbestos-specific packaging, marking, labeling, or shipping papers. Flooring and roofing material removed using recommended work practices is therefore exempt from DOT regulations. The North Carolina Solid Waste Management Section of DEHNR regulates the disposal of asbestos waste in permitted solid waste landfills. Acceptance of asbestos waste is the decision of the operator of a permitted landfill. ACM can also go to permitted NC construction and demolition (C&D) landfills but most of them will not accept bagged material. The Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates uses of asbestos; e.g. the Commission has banned use of asbestos in patching compounds. The Food and Drug Administration has taken no action to date with regard to asbestos in food because there is no evidence that the ingestion of small amounts of asbestos found in food poses any human health risk. The North Carolina Department of Administration, Division of State Construction, requires that its Guideline Criteria for Asbestos Abatement be used to develop asbestos abatement specification plans for State-owned buildings. The Occupational Health Section of NC-DEHNR administers the Dusty Trade Act which requires employers to provide medical examinations for employees exposed to the hazards of asbestos in the work place. Subs Substitutes Substitutes for asbestos include: Cellulose, textiles, wood fiber, and resins treated with flame-retardant chemicals such as bromine, phosphorus, and chlorine based compounds, metal hydrates such as alumina trihydrate, and antimony oxide Fibrous glass Ceramic fibers Minerals such as gypsum, calcium silicate, perlite, rock wool, mineral wool, diatomaceous earth, vermiculite, graphite, and metal chips
10 Resources OSHA asbestos regulations General Industry 29 CFR Construction 29 CFR Shipyard Employment 29 CFR