What You Need to Know
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral which is still mined today
According to the EPA, any material containing >1% is considered to be asbestos containing (although some states have stricter regulations)
There is no safe exposure limit for asbestos
Asbestos is most harmful if friable or made friable
Asbestos can be found in both the air as well as building material samples
What You Need To Do
Any building materials that may contain asbestos must not be impacted until and unless an asbestos survey has been performed (by qualified individuals) identifying any materials that may be asbestos containing. Once identified, all applicable federal, state, and local regulations must be complied with pertaining to removal, disposal, notification, and training.
Be aware that asbestos can be present even in buildings constructed last year and that all suspect asbestos containing materials must be tested prior to impact, not just buildings constructed during time periods when asbestos use was common (1940-1980).
Be aware that EPA and OSHA have regulations with respect to asbestos which must be complied with and include worker protection, notification, training, and disposal requirements
Myths and Misconceptions
Since our building was constructed within the last few years, we do not have to worry about testing for asbestos when impacting building materials during renovation/demolition activities-FALSE
The mere presence of asbestos creates a hazardous condition-FALSE
The latency period for developing an asbestos related disease after exposure can be 30 years or longer-TRUE
Smokers are at much greater risk for developing an asbestos related disease than non-smokers-TRUE