Asbestos Inspection and Testing
Environmental Inspection Sciences of Boulder provides asbestos surveys and sampling in accordance with all applicable State and Federal requirements. We are licensed by the State of Colorado as an Asbestos Consulting Firm (Registration No.: ACF - 21220). In addition, all of our inspectors are licensed asbestos Building Inspectors. Our Asbestos Inspection and Testing services include:
- Commercial Buildings;
- Pre-Mold Remediation;
- Pre-Demolition; and
What is Asbestos, and why is it in my home?
Asbestos is a mineral that is naturally occurring. It is mined in multiple countries around the world, including limited quantities within the United States in California and Vermont. One of the distinguishing factors of Asbestos from other mineral types is that its crystals form long, thin fibers. Asbestos has many unique properties which make it an ideal additive to building materials. It’s fire resistant, has a very high tensile strength, is generally chemical resistant, and is a poor heat and electrical conductor. Therefore, incorporating Asbestos into materials used for things like fire proofing, electrical insulation, thermal insulation or any materials that need to be strong greatly enhances that materials performance. As a result, Asbestos has been incorporated into thousands of products, many of which are used within our homes.
Why do I need Asbestos Testing?
Many materials used in the construction of buildings and homes may contain asbestos. This is true not only in old structures, but in newly constructed buildings and homes as well. When Asbestos is present, it is classified in one of two states: Non-Friable and Friable. If the material remains in a non-friable state (meaning a material which, when dry, may not be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure), it does not pose much of a problem. However, when asbestos is, or is rendered friable (meaning a material, when dry, may be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure), asbestos fibers may become airborne and pose a potential health concern. Therefore, knowing which building materials within a structure contain asbestos and the potential for disturbance of such materials enables homeowners and building managers / owners to put together a management plan on how to deal with those materials. With a management plan in place and followed, the general healthiness of a structure may be maintained with respect to asbestos. When renovation or demolition is planned within a structure, materials which may contain asbestos may be rendered friable, and as a result asbestos fibers may become airborne. Therefore, it is required to have an asbestos survey performed prior to the demolition. Per Colorado Regulation No. 8, Part B, section III.A.1: “Prior to any renovation or demolition which may disturb greater than the trigger levels of material identified as a suspect asbestos-containing material pursuant to the EPA "Green Book", Managing Asbestos in Place, Appendix G (1990), the facility component(s) to be affected by the renovation or demolition shall be inspected to determine if abatement is required.” Asbestos presents a significant risk to human health as a result of air emissions; it is considered a “hazardous air pollutant.” Don’t put yourself, your employees, or building occupants in harm’s way. Let us help you with your asbestos inspection or testing project.
Wasn't Asbestos Banned? I don't have to worry because my structure was built after 1989.
Unfortunately, Asbestos is still found and used today in building materials. The EPA has found that there are rather common misunderstandings about its 1989 bans on asbestos-containing materials. Newspaper and magazine articles, Internet information, even some currently available (but outdated) documents from the EPA and other federal agencies may contain statements about an EPA asbestos ban that are incorrect. In fact, in 1991 the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated much of the so-called "Asbestos Ban and Phaseout" rule and remanded it to the EPA. Thus, much of the many asbestos-containing product categories was set aside and did not take effect. Six asbestos-containing product categories are still subject to the 1989 ban. However, the EPA has no existing bans on most other asbestos-containing products or uses. The EPA does not track the manufacture, processing, or distribution in commerce of asbestos-containing products. It would be prudent for a consumer or other buyer to inquire as to the presence of asbestos in particular products or have those products inspected and tested.
Relative Asbestos Rules, Regulations, and Laws
NESHAP - National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants
National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) defines an “asbestos containing material” as any material containing more than one percent (1%) asbestos as determined using the method specified in Appendix A, Subpart F, 40 CFR Part 763, Section 1, Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM). Read More - US EPA Asbestos Laws and Regulations The asbestos NESHAP regulations specify work practices for asbestos to be followed during demolitions and renovations of all structures, installations, and buildings (excluding residential buildings that have four or fewer dwelling units). The regulations require the owner of the building or the operator to notify the appropriate state agency before any demolition, or before any renovations of buildings that could contain a certain threshold amount of asbestos or asbestos-containing material.
AHERA - Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act
The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) (Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Title II) is a federal law requiring the US EPA to promulgate regulations (e.g., the Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule) requiring local educational agencies to inspect their school buildings for asbestos-containing building material, prepare asbestos management plans and perform asbestos response actions to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards. AHERA also tasked EPA with developing a model plan for states for accrediting persons conducting asbestos inspection and corrective-action activities at schools. Read More - Renovation and Demolition -Requirements, NESHAP Regulations or Schools, Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) or Schools, Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act (ASHARA) The EPA defines "Regulated Asbestos-Containing Material" (RACM) as (a) friable asbestos material, (b) Category I non-friable ACM that has become friable, (c) Category I non-friable ACM that will be or has been subjected to sanding, grinding, cutting or abrading, or (d) Category II non-friable ACM that has a high probability of becoming or has become crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by the forces expected to act on the material in the course of demolition or renovation operations.
ASHARA - Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act
Section 206 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) mandated that the EPA develop an asbestos Model Accreditation Plan (MAP). The original MAP was promulgated in 1987 and became codified as 40 CFR Part 763, Appendix C to subpart E. Section 206 of TSCA was later amended by the Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act (ASHARA). ASHARA mandated that the MAP be revised to:
- Provide for the extension of accreditation requirements to public and commercial buildings for persons who inspect for asbestos-containing material, design response actions, or carry out response actions; and
- Increase the minimum number of training hours, including additional hands-on training, required for accreditation of workers and supervisors performing work in schools and/or public and commercial buildings.
Colorado Regulation No. 8, Part B – Asbestos
The Air Quality Control Commission's Regulation 8, Part B governs asbestos abatement in Colorado. This is used in conjunction with all applicable federal standards (NESHAP, AHERA, ASHARA, etc..), and further defines asbestos regulations within the state of Colorado.
TSCA – The Toxic Substances Control Act
The TSCA defines asbestos as the asbestiform varieties of: chrysotile (serpentine); crocidolite (riebeckite); amosite (cummingtonite/grunerite); anthophyllite; tremolite; and actinolite. Read More - Building Owners and Managers, EPA Asbestos Regulations
EPA Asbestos Worker Protection Rule
Through the authority of Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) the EPA extended worker protection requirements to state and local government employees involved in asbestos work who were not previously covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) asbestos regulations. Read More - Building Operations and Maintenance EPA Asbestos Regulations, AHERA
OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Association
OSHA states that each employer shall protect the employment and places of employment of each of his employees by complying with the appropriate standards. The rules and regulations protect workers from exposure to asbestos. These regulations set rules for exposure limits, exposure monitoring, containment and regulated areas, worker protection equipment, respirator protection, and worker notification among others. Read More - OSHA Asbestos Standard 29CFR1910.1001 and Construction Work: OSHA Standard 29CFR1910.12