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What is Asbestos?
"Asbestos" is a term used to describe six naturally occurring incombustible minerals. Three of the most common types are chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite. Asbestos is a mineral compound of silicon, oxygen, hydrogen, and various metals. Asbestos minerals formed millions of years ago when heat, pressure, or chemical activity changed the physical and chemical characteristics of pre-existing rock. Unlike other minerals, which consist of tightly bound crystals, asbestos minerals are characterized by the presence of densely packed bundles of fibers.
Asbestos was a popular component in commercial products from the early 1900s to the 1970s. Asbestos is durable, fire retardant, resists corrosion, and insulates very well. Asbestos products use in America was greatest from the 1940s until the late 1970s when the health hazards associated with asbestos exposure became widely recognized. By this time asbestos had become an integral component of approximately 3,600 commercial products. During World War II, enormous quantities of asbestos were used in shipbuilding and other industries. Following the war and until the late 1970s, asbestos was widely used in buildings for fireproofing, thermal and acoustical insulation, condensation control, and decoration. It has been estimated that approximately 30 million tons of asbestos have been used in the construction and manufacturing industries since the early 1900s.
What are the Health Effects of Asbestos Exposure?
Asbestos fibers can cause serious health problems. If asbestos fibers are inhaled, these tiny microscopic fibers can cause normal functions of the lungs to be disturbed. Exposure increases the risk of developing lung cancer, mesothelioma, or asbestosis, which is a scaring of the lungs that leads to breathing problems. It could take anywhere from 15 to 30 years after the first exposure for symptoms to occur. Medical investigations have shown that inhalation is the principal route of entry that leads to asbestos-related diseases. There is no known safe exposure level to asbestos. The greater the exposure, the greater the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.
Asbestos Products Ban and Phase Out
On July 12, 1989, EPA issued a final rule banning some, but not all, asbestos-containing products. For additional documents that provide more detail on the status of EPA's ban on asbestos-containing products, please visit the EPA website .
Regulations Governing Asbestos
Pursuant to the Clean Air Act of 1970, EPA established the Asbestos National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). It is intended to minimize the release of asbestos fibers during activities involving the handling of asbestos. It specifies work practices to be followed during renovation, demolition, and other abatement activities when friable asbestos is involved. On March 31, 1971, EPA identified asbestos as a hazardous pollutant. On April 6, 1973, EPA first enforced the asbestos NESHAP Regulation in Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 61. On Nov. 20, 1990, EPA re-promulgated the entire Asbestos NESHAP regulation to enhance enforcement and compliance, Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 61, Subpart M, Asbestos. This is the current edition. On June 17, 1994, EPA added Appendix A to clarify the Asbestos NESHAP as it affects roof removal operations involving asbestos.
What sources Are Covered by the Asbestos NESHAP?
Among others, the following activities and facilities are regulated:
?Milling of asbestos
?Commercial manufacturing of products that contain commercial asbestos
?Demolition of all facilities, even though it may not contain asbestos
?Renovation of facilities that contain friable asbestos-containing materials
?Spraying of asbestos-containing materials
?Processing (fabricating) of any manufactured products that contain asbestos
?Use of insulating materials that contain commercial asbestos
?Disposal of asbestos-containing waste generated during milling, manufacturing, renovation, demolition, spraying, and fabricating operations
?Active waste disposal sites
?Closure and maintenance of inactive waste disposal sites
?Operation of and reporting on facilities that convert asbestos-containing waste material into non-asbestos material
?Design and operation of air cleaning devices
?Reporting of information pertaining to process control equipment, filter devices, asbestos generating process, etc.
Asbestos NESHAP Program and Notification Requirements
Any facility undergoing renovation or demolition. "Facility" means any institutional, commercial, public, industrial, or residential structure, installation, or building (including any structure, installation, or building containing condominiums or individual dwelling units operated as a residential cooperative, but excluding residential buildings having four or fewer dwelling units); any ship; and any active or inactive waste disposal site.
Prior to beginning renovation or demolition activities of a facility, a certified Asbestos AHERA (Hazard Emergency Response Act) building inspector should thoroughly inspect the facility or part of the facility where the renovation or demolition operation will occur for the presence of asbestos, including friable and non-friable asbestos-containing materials.
For all demolitions (even when no asbestos is present) and renovations activities involving threshold amounts of regulated asbestos-containing material (RACM), provide the Asbestos NESHAP agency overseeing the project site with a NESHAP notification at least 10 working days prior to the demolition or renovation activity. Threshold amounts of RACM are:
?260 linear feet or more on pipes
?160 square feet or more on other facility components
?35 cubic feet or more off facility components
There are no state (ADEQ) notification or permitting fees involved with this program for jurisdictional counties. The Region 9 Asbestos Program charges no fees for work on Tribal Lands. Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties have fees for their notification process. Some cities may have separate permit fees, and AHERA inspectors may charge a fee for their inspection.
Written Notification Requirement
Under section 61.145(b) of the Asbestos NESHAP, a written notification is required for renovation and demolition operations. Only completed notification forms are accepted. For NESHAP activities for the jurisdictional 12 counties that ADEQ regulates, the notification should be hand or typewritten and postmarked or delivered to ADEQ no later than 10 working days (Monday through Friday) prior to the beginning of the asbestos activity or demolition. The address is as follows:
The purpose of the Asbestos National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) Program is to protect public health from exposure to regulated asbestos-containing material (RACM) during NESHAP facility renovation/demolition activities, asbestos removal, transport and disposal, closely monitoring those activities for proper notification and asbestos emissions control. Asbestos is known to cause cancer and other respiratory diseases in humans.
Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), Congress gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the responsibility for enforcing regulations relating to asbestos renovations and demolitions activities. The CAA allows the EPA to delegate this authority to state and local agencies. Even after the EPA delegates responsibility to a state or local agency, the EPA retains authority to oversee agency performance and to enforce the Asbestos NESHAP regulations as necessary.
The Asbestos NESHAP program in Arizona is enforced by federal, state, and county Asbestos NESHAP agencies.
Envision 3 Group, Inc. is a full service Phoenix, Arizona Environmental Firm providing a broad range of environmental consulting including but not limited to asbestos inspections, asbestos testing, mold inspections, mold testing, asbestos management, site assessments, indoor air quality assessments, mold testing, remediation design and implementation, lead based paint inspections and field services to a wide variety of clients. Our personnel are committed to providing prompt and professional environmental services. We pride ourselves on the increasing number of private, corporate, and government clients who exclusively use Envision's services to solve their complex environmental and regulatory concerns.
Asbestos Bulk Sampling
Asbestos Final Clearance Air Sampling
Pre-Remediation Mold Testing
Post-Remediation Air Testing
Environmental Design and Project Management
Expert Witness/Litigation Support
Mobile PCM Laboratory
Indoor Air Quality Investigations
We are a full service environmental consulting firm founded to enable our clients to respond to their environmental concerns. To achieve this, we have brought together a team of professionals to address our clients individualized issues precisely, responsively, and comprehensively.
To utilize a high degree of professionalism, confidentiality, and integrity toward environmental problem solving and create a successful company with a rewarding work environment that attracts extraordinary environmental professionals, while maintaining a business philosophy that focuses on long-term client relationships based on trust, respect, and efficiency.
By instituting a positive and empowering work atmosphere, we encourage individual and team development. We support team members to contribute to our industry and our community through professional and civic organizations. We believe these are essential elements for responsible and long-term growth.
Integrity is the base from which all our services are carried out. Integrity fosters our pledge to give our clients quality work and cost-effective value. These principles direct our decisions as we build a profitable corporation which reinvests in its future and that of its employees.
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