1 ADEQ: What We Do The Department of Environmental Quality is an agency of the state of Arkansas. We are headquartered in North Little Rock and have offices and inspectors throughout the state. Our regulatory programs for air, water, solid waste, hazardous waste, petroleum storage tanks, and mining help protect Arkansas environment. We issue operating permits for business and farms and monitor for compliance. We also manage many programs to assist business, educators and the public with regulatory, recycling and other issues. ADEQ offers loans and tax credits for environmental improvement projects. Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Air Division Asbestos Section 5301 Northshore Drive North Little Rock, AR Phone: ASBESTOS IN YOUR HOME Prepared by CPSC EPA Revised August
2 Asbestos in Your Home This information is taken largely from a document developed in 1990 entitled Asbestos in Your Home. However, this information is still of value to homeowners and renters. Hard copies of the 1990 document are available from the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Assistance Information Service at , or from the Asbestos Ombudsman at Copies of this revised document are available through the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, , or at the ADEQ Asbestos Web Page This booklet will help you understand asbestos: what it is, its health effects, where it is in your home and what to do about it. Even if asbestos is in your home, this is usually NOT a serious problem. The mere presence of asbestos in a home or building is not hazardous. The danger is that asbestos materials may become damaged over time. Damaged asbestos may release fibers and become a health hazard. THE BEST THING TO DO WITH ASBESTOS IN GOOD CONDITION IS TO LEAVE IT ALONE! Disturbing it may create a health hazard where none existed before. Read this booklet before you have any asbestos material inspected, removed or repaired. Computer Links for more information: Asbestos in Your Home is found at Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality asbestos web site. More information about asbestos and its health effects. Protect your family from asbestos-contaminated vermiculite insulation in your home. Training requirements for asbestos professionals. Current Best Practices for Preventing Asbestos Exposure Among Brake and Clutch Repair Workers EPA Regional & State Asbestos Contacts U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) American Lung Association Arkansas-licensed Asbestos Contractors and Consultants lic_contractors_consultants_sql.asp U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Suspected asbestos floor tile in poor condition 2 19
3 Disclaimer This document may be reproduced without charge, in whole or in part, without permission, except for use as advertising material or product endorsement. Any such reproduction should credit the American Lung Association, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. The use of all or any part of this document in a deceptive or inaccurate manner or for purposes of endorsing a particular product may be subject to appropriate legal action. EPA is currently reviewing and revising the original document. Statement by the American Lung Association: The Statements in this brochure are based in part upon the results of a workshop concerning asbestos in the home which was sponsored by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Lung Association (ALA). The sponsors believe that this brochure provides an accurate summary of useful information discussed at the workshop and obtained from other sources. However, ALA did not develop the underlying information used to create the brochure and does not warrant the accuracy and completeness of such information. ALA emphasizes that asbestos should not be handled, sampled, removed or repaired by anyone other than a qualified professional. Examples of Where Asbestos Hazards May Be Found In The Home Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement. Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation in several places. Attic and wall insulation produced using vermiculite ore, particularly ore that originated from a Libby, Montana mine, may contain asbestos fibers. Vermiculite was mined in Libby, Montana between 1923 and Prior to its close in 1990, much of the world's supply of vermiculite came from the Libby mine. This mine had a natural deposit of asbestos which resulted in the vermiculite being contaminated with asbestos. (See EPA's 2003 brochure on Current Best Practices for Vermiculite Attic Insulation. A link to that brochure is listed at the end of this booklet.) Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was banned in Artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces may contain asbestos. Older products such as stove-top pads may have some asbestos compounds. Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves may be protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets. Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives. Hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material or an insulating blanket or tape. Oil and coal furnace door gaskets may have insulation containing asbestos. Removing pipe insulation 18 3
4 What Is Asbestos? Asbestos is a mineral fiber. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers. In the past, asbestos was added to strengthen a variety of products and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance. How Can Asbestos Affect My Health? From studies of people who were exposed to asbestos in factories and shipyards, we know that breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of: lung cancer; mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the chest and the abdominal cavity; and Asbestos fibers asbestosis, in which the lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue. The risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma increases with the number of fibers inhaled. The risk of lung cancer from inhaling asbestos fibers is also greater if you smoke. People who get asbestosis have usually been exposed to high levels of asbestos for a long time. The symptoms of these diseases do not usually appear until about 20 to 30 years after the first exposure to asbestos. Most people exposed to small amounts of asbestos, as we all are in our daily lives, do not develop these health problems. However, if disturbed, asbestos material may release asbestos fibers, which can be inhaled into the lungs. The fibers can remain there for a long time, increasing the risk of disease. Asbestos material that would crumble easily if handled, or that has been sawed, scraped, or sanded into a powder, is more likely to create a health hazard. 4 ADEQ More Information Call the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality at or go to the ADEQ Asbestos Section web page: To find out which companies in your section of Arkansas can provide training for asbestos removal contractors and consultants, and for information on Arkansas asbestos regulations. US EPA Call the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at or the EPA Region 6 Office in Dallas, , for more information about asbestos. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asbestos web page can be found at: CPSC For more information about asbestos in consumer products, contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: By writing -- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission 4330 East West Highway Bethesda, MD By telephone, at the toll-free consumer hotline: A teletypewriter (TTY) is available for the hearing impaired at By internet web site: American Lung Association Call the American Lung Association with questions about your lung health. Ask an expert. Call Go to the ALA web site at: 17
5 Caution! Do not dust, sweep, or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos. These steps will disturb tiny asbestos fibers and may release them into the air. Remove dust by wet mopping or with a special HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaner used by trained asbestos contractors. 16 Removal of asbestos siding Where Can I Find Asbestos? When Can It Be A Problem? Most products made today do not contain asbestos. Those few products made which still contain asbestos that could be inhaled are required to be labeled as such. However, until the 1970s, many building products and insulation materials used in homes contained asbestos. Products that might have contained asbestos in the past, and conditions which may release fibers, include: Steam pipes, boilers, and furnace ducts insulated with an asbestos blanket or paper tape. These materials may release asbestos fibers if damaged, repaired, or removed improperly. Resilient floor tiles (vinyl asbestos, asphalt, and rubber), the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives used for installing floor tile. Sanding tiles can release fibers as may scraping or sanding the backing of flooring during removal. Cement sheet, millboard, and paper used as insulation around furnaces and wood-burning stoves. Repairing or removing appliances, cutting, tearing, sanding, drilling or sawing insulation may release asbestos fibers. Door gaskets in furnaces, wood stoves, and coal stoves. Worn seals can release asbestos fibers during use. Soundproofing or decorative materials sprayed on walls and ceilings. Loose, crumbly, or water-damaged material may release fibers. So will sanding, drilling or scraping the material. Patching and joint compounds for walls and ceilings, and textured paints. Sanding, scraping, or drilling these surfaces may release asbestos. Asbestos cement roofing, shingles, and siding, which are unlikely to release asbestos fibers unless sawed, drilled or cut. Artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces. Fireproof gloves, stove-top pads, ironing board covers, and certain hairdryers. Automobile brake pads and linings, clutch facings, and gaskets. There are substitutes for these products today. 5
6 What Should Be Done About Asbestos In The Home? If you think asbestos may be in your home, don't panic. Usually the best thing is to LEAVE asbestos material that is in good condition ALONE. Generally, material in good condition will not release asbestos fibers. THERE IS NO DANGER unless the fibers are released and inhaled into the lungs. Check material regularly if you suspect it may contain asbestos. Don't touch it, but look for signs of wear or damage such as tears, abrasions, or water damage. Damaged material may release asbestos fibers. This is particularly true if you often disturb it by hitting, rubbing, or handling it, or if it is exposed to extreme vibration or air flow. Sometimes the best way to deal with slightly damaged material is to limit access to the area and not touch or disturb it. Discard damaged or worn asbestos gloves, stove-top pads, or ironing board covers. If asbestos material is more than slightly damaged, or if you are going to make changes in your home that might disturb it, repair or removal by a professional is needed. Before you have your house remodeled, find out whether asbestos materials are present. How To Identify Asbestos You can't tell whether a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it, unless it is labeled. If in doubt, treat the material as if it contains asbestos or have it sampled and analyzed by a qualified professional. A professional should take samples for analysis, since a professional knows what to look for, and because there may be an increased health risk if fibers are released. In fact, if done incorrectly, sampling can be more hazardous than leaving the material alone. Taking samples yourself is not recommended. Material that is in good condition and will not be disturbed (by remodeling, for example) should be left alone. Only material that is damaged or will be disturbed should be sampled. 6 Make sure the work site is clearly marked as a hazard area. Do not allow household members and pets into the area until work is completed. Insist that the contractor apply a wetting agent to the asbestos material with a hand sprayer that creates a fine mist before removal. Wet fibers do not float in the air as easily as dry fibers and will be easier to clean up. Make sure the contractor does not break removed material into small pieces. This could release asbestos fibers into the air. Pipe insulation was usually installed in preformed blocks and should be removed in complete pieces. Upon completion, assure that the contractor cleans the area well with wet mops, wet rags, sponges, or high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum cleaners. A regular vacuum cleaner must never be used. Wetting helps reduce the chance of spreading asbestos fibers in the air. All asbestos materials and disposable equipment and clothing used in the job must be placed in sealed, leak-proof, and labeled plastic bags. The work site should be visually free of dust and debris. Air monitoring (to make sure there is no increase of asbestos fibers in the air) may be necessary to assure that the contractor's job is done properly. This should be done by a firm not connected with the contractor. 15 Removing asbestos ceiling coating
7 A list of Arkansas-licensed asbestos consultants who employ certified inspectors can be found through the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), (See internet link at end of this booklet.) If You Hire An Asbestos Abatement Contractor A list of Arkansas-licensed asbestos contractors can be found through the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, (See internet link at end of this booklet.) Check with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor, Little Rock Office, , which is responsible for worker safety, and the local Better Business Bureau. Ask if the firm has had any safety violations. Find out if there are legal actions filed against it. (An internet link to OSHA can be found at the end of this booklet.) Insist that the contractor use the proper equipment to do the job. The workers must wear approved respirators, gloves, and other protective clothing. Before work begins, get a written contract specifying the work plan, cleanup, and the applicable federal, state, and local regulations which the contractor must follow (such as notification requirements and asbestos disposal procedures). Contact the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality for Arkansas asbestos regulations. Be sure the contractor follows asbestos removal and disposal laws. At the end of the job, get written assurance from the contractor that all procedures have been followed. Assure that the contractor avoids spreading or tracking asbestos dust into other areas of your home. They should seal the work area from the rest of the house using plastic sheeting and duct tape, and turn off the heating and air conditioning system. For some repairs, such as pipe insulation removal, plastic glove bags may be adequate. They must be sealed with tape and properly disposed of when the job is complete. 14 Asbestos insulation on hot water pipes Taking Your Own Samples If you nevertheless choose to take the asbestos samples yourself, take care not to release asbestos fibers into the air or onto yourself. Anyone who samples asbestos-containing materials should have as much information as possible on the handling of asbestos before sampling, and at a minimum, should observe the following procedures: Make sure no one else is in the room when sampling is done. Wear disposable gloves or wash hands after sampling. Shut down any heating or cooling systems to minimize the spread of any released fibers. Do not disturb the material any more than is needed. Place a plastic sheet on the floor below the area to be sampled. Wet the material using a fine mist of water containing a few drops of detergent before taking the sample. The water/ detergent mist will reduce the release of asbestos fibers. 7
8 Carefully cut a piece from the entire depth of the material using, for example, a small knife, corer or other sharp object. Place the small piece into a clean container (for example, a 35 mm film canister, small glass, plastic vial, or high quality re-sealable plastic bag.) Tightly seal the container after inserting the sample. Carefully dispose of the plastic sheet. Use a damp paper towel to clean up any material on the outside of the container or around the area sampled. Dispose of asbestos materials according to state and local procedures. Suspected asbestos insulation Label the container with an identification number and clearly state when and where the sample was taken. Patch the sampled area with a piece of duct tape to prevent fiber-release. Send the sample to an EPA-approved laboratory for analysis. The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has a list of these laboratories. You can get this list from the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program, NVLAP, NIST. To contact the NVLAP staff, you may call , send a facsimile to , mail a staff member at 100 Bureau Drive; M/S 2140; Gaithersburg, MD , or NVLAP at The web site is There is one NVLAP lab in Arkansas, Environmental Enterprise Group, Russellville, AR, , or How To Manage An Asbestos Problem If the asbestos material is in good shape and will not be disturbed, do nothing! If it is a problem, there are two types of corrections: repair and removal. 8 Environmental Quality, (An internet link to the list may be found at the end of this booklet.) Asbestos-containing automobile brake pads and linings, clutch facings, and gaskets should be repaired and replaced only by professionals using special protective equipment. Many of these products are now available without asbestos. Read U.S. EPA s publication, Current Best Practices for Preventing Asbestos Disease Among Brake and Clutch Repair Workers. (See internet link.) If You Hire A Professional Asbestos Inspector Make sure that the inspection will include a complete visual examination and the careful collection and lab analysis of samples. If asbestos is present, the inspector should provide a written evaluation describing its location and extent of damage, and give recommendations for correction, abatement or risk prevention. Make sure an inspecting firm makes frequent site visits if it is hired to assure that a contractor follows proper procedures and requirements. The inspector may recommend and perform checks after the abatement work to assure the area has been properly cleaned. Preparing for asbestos work on a furnace 13
9 Some firms offer combinations of inspection, consulting, testing, assessment, abatement and correction. A professional hired to assess the need for abatement or corrective action should not be connected with an asbestos-abatement firm. It is better to use two different firms so there is no conflict of interest. Services vary from one area to another around the country. The federal government sets standards for asbestos professionals. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality follows these standards. Each person performing asbestos work in your home should provide proof of their certification in asbestos work and their company s licensing as an asbestos firm. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has lists of certified workers and licensed companies. If you have a problem that requires the services of asbestos professionals, check their credentials carefully. Hire professionals who are trained, experienced, and reputable. Before hiring a professional, ask for references from previous clients. Find out if they were satisfied. Ask whether the professional has handled similar situations. Get cost estimates from several professionals, as charges for services can vary. Though private homes are usually not covered by the asbestos regulations that apply to schools and public buildings, professionals should still use procedures described during stateapproved training. Homeowners should be alert to the chance of misleading claims by asbestos consultants and contractors. There have been reports of firms incorrectly claiming that asbestos materials in homes must be replaced. In other cases, firms have encouraged unnecessary removals or performed them improperly. Unnecessary removals are a waste of money. Improper removals may actually increase the health risks to you and your family. To guard against this, know what services are available and what procedures and precautions are needed to do the job properly. In addition to general asbestos contractors, you may select a roofing, flooring, or plumbing contractor licensed to handle asbestos. A list of Arkansas-licensed asbestos contractors and consultants can be found through the Arkansas Department of 12 Repair usually involves either sealing or covering asbestos material. Sealing (encapsulation) involves treating the material with a sealant that either binds the asbestos fibers together or coats the material so fibers are not released. Pipe, furnace and boiler insulation can sometimes be repaired this way. This should be done only by a professional trained to handle asbestos safely. Covering (enclosure) involves placing something over or around the material that contains asbestos to prevent release of fibers. Exposed insulated piping may be covered with a protective wrap or jacket. With any type of repair, the asbestos remains in place. Repair is usually cheaper than removal, but it may make later removal of asbestos, if necessary, more difficult and costly. Repairs can either be major or minor. Asbestos Do's And Don'ts for the Homeowner Do keep activities to a minimum in any areas having damaged material that may contain asbestos. Do take every precaution to avoid damaging asbestos. Do have removal and major repair done by people trained and qualified in handling asbestos. It is highly recommended that sampling and minor repair be done by professionals. Don't dust, sweep, or vacuum debris suspected of asbestos. Don't saw, sand, scrape, or drill holes in asbestos materials. Don't use abrasive pads or brushes on power strippers to strip wax from asbestos flooring. Never use a power stripper on a dry floor. Don't sand or try to level asbestos flooring or its backing. When asbestos flooring needs replacing, install new floor covering over it, if possible. Don't track material that could contain asbestos through the house. If you cannot avoid walking through the area, have it 9
10 cleaned with a wet mop. If the material is from a damaged area, or if a large area must be cleaned, call an asbestos professional. Major repairs must be done only by a professional trained in methods for safely handling asbestos. Minor repairs should also be done by professionals since there is always a risk of exposure to fibers when asbestos is disturbed. Doing minor repairs yourself is not recommended since improper handling of asbestos materials can create a hazard where no hazard existed. If you nevertheless choose to do minor repairs, you should have as much information as possible on the handling of asbestos before doing anything. Contact the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Air Division Asbestos Section for information about asbestos training programs. Your local school district may also have information about asbestos professionals and training programs for school buildings. Even if you have completed a training course, do not try anything more than minor repairs. Before undertaking minor repairs, carefully examine the area around the damage to make sure it is stable. As a general matter, any damaged area which is bigger than the size of your hand is not a minor repair. Suspected asbestos floor tile in good condition 10 Minor Repairs Before undertaking minor repairs, be sure to follow all the precautions described in these information sheets for sampling asbestos material. Always wet the asbestos material using a fine mist of water containing a few drops of detergent. Commercial products designed to fill holes and seal damaged areas are available. Small areas of material such as pipe insulation can be covered by wrapping a special fabric, such as rewetable glass cloth, around it. These products are available from stores (listed in the telephone directory under Safety Equipment and Clothing) that specialize in safety items. Asbestos abatement is usually the most expensive method and, unless required by state or local regulations, should be the last option considered in most situations. This is because removal poses the greatest risk of fiber release. However, removal may be required when remodeling or making major changes to your home that will disturb asbestos material. Also, removal may be called for if asbestos material is damaged extensively and cannot be otherwise repaired. Removal is complex and must be done only by a contractor with special training. Improper removal may increase health risks to you and your family. Asbestos Professionals: Who Are They and What Can They Do? Asbestos professionals are trained in handling asbestos material. The type of professional will depend on the type of product and what needs to be done to correct the problem. You may hire a general asbestos contractor or, in some cases, a professional firm trained to handle specific products containing asbestos. Asbestos professionals can conduct home inspections, take samples of suspected material, assess its condition, and advise what corrections are needed and who is qualified to make these corrections. Material in good condition need not be sampled unless it is likely to be disturbed. Professional correction or abatement contractors repair or remove asbestos materials. 11
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Asbestos advice This guide explains what asbestos is, why it might be a problem, where it might be found, how we survey your home for it and how to deal with asbestos. Asbestos advice If you would like
This presentation is for information purposes ONLY. This is not an on-line training module!! This presentation was developed to be presented in a classroom setting Asbestos Awareness Training Presented
Control of Asbestos Asbestos has been the main cause of occupational ill health from about 1950 onwards and is still the greatest single work related cause of death from ill health. Past exposure is now
STATE OF PLAY AND MAIN CHALLENGES OF ASBESTOS TREATMENT IN SERBIA Čudić Vladica Belgrade 27-28 January 2014. 1 Content What is Asbestos? Where is Asbestos Found? Managing or removing asbestos? Treatment
Don t Spread Lead A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Lead-Safe Painting, Repair, and Home Improvement Are you working on an older house? If you are working on a house built before 1978, read this booklet before
UI Procedures for Asbestos Management The University of Iowa Rev.12/12/2012 These procedures apply to employees and contractors involving the identification, work on, removal, or repair of asbestos-containing
ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM September 2015 Asbestos Management Program Table of Contents I. Purpose II. III. IV. Definitions Identification of Asbestos Asbestos Sampling V. Notification and Labeling VI.
34 ASBESTOS This chapter provides some brief information about asbestos in construction. If you encounter asbestos on the job, you will need more information. Here are the two main sources of further information
Understanding Asbestos: Implications for the Individual and the Community Development Practitioner By Eric Fortner, Project Consultant email@example.com June 2014 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Asbestos is
Caution Asbestos Asbestos advice for residents Customer Approved This leaflet has been designed to address concerns and questions about asbestos in homes. It explains what it is, where it could be found,
Control Methods CONTROL METHODS When asbestos containing materials are found in a building, the owner must decide which method or methods will be used to deal with the asbestos. The decision will be based