There are several types of asbestos fibers, all of which are lightweight, fire resistant, and not easily destroyed by natural processes. Because of these characteristics, asbestos was used in construction and thermal insulation until about 1979.
Between 1900 and 1979, an estimated 30 million tons were installed in commercial, industrial, and private buildings.
Frequently, asbestos fibers are mixed with materials that bind them together producing asbestos containing material (ACM).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), State of California, and the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) have regulations regarding air pollutants to protect public health and the environment.
Through Rule 62.7, the APCD regulates asbestos renovation and demolition projects.
The EPA has determined that there is no completely safe level of exposure to asbestos. Exposure to asbestos occurs when its fibers are released into the air and inhaled. While they are not visible, these fibers can be deadly.
The danger occurs when smaller fibers in the air become embedded in the lungs, and the body has no way to remove them. Usually, symptoms do not appear for 20 or more years after the first exposure.
Exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer in individuals by five times. Cancer of the stomach and internal organs such as the mouth, esophagus, larynx, kidneys, and colon can also be caused by asbestos exposure.
Each exposure to asbestos increases an individual's risk of acquiring asbestos-related diseases.
Asbestos is likely to be found in buildings constructed before 1979 and almost certain to be present in those built before 1950. Asbestos was often sprayed or trowelled on ceilings and walls for thermal, acoustical, and decorative purposes. It may also be found in insulation for stoves, furnaces, boilers, pipes, walls, and ceilings. Vinyl floor tiles, sheet flooring, patching compounds, cement shingles, artificial fireplace logs, and textured paints are other areas where asbestos was commonly used.
Exposure to asbestos can occur in home improvement and construction projects. For example, cutting a ceiling section may disturb sprayed-on decorative ACM. Replacing plumbing pipes may expose you to deteriorating asbestos pipe coverings. Cutting through shingle siding may expose you to insulation fibers.
In most cases, ACM is only dangerous when it is disturbed.
Unless it is clearly labeled, it is impossible to visually detect asbestos. If you suspect a material contains asbestos, you can hire a California state licensed asbestos consultant to conduct a survey and take samples of the materials to a laboratory for analysis or you can take samples yourself.
If you choose to sample suspect material yourself, first wet it by using a spray bottle filled with water. After the material is thoroughly penetrated by water, carefully remove it and place it in a clean, leak-tight container.
Take the sample to an asbestos laboratory for analysis. To find a California state licensed consultant or laboratory in your area, check the telephone directory under "Asbestos" or "Environmental."
Bulk sample analysis determines the quantity (percent by area estimate), as well as the specific type of asbestos for each sampled area.
Results from analyses are interpreted as follows:
If the material is identified as ACM and it is in good condition, the APCD recommends leaving it alone. If the ACM is damaged, or if renovation, repair, or remodeling may disturb the material, you should hire a California state licensed asbestos abatement contractor to remove it in a safe and legal manner.
An asbestos removal contractor list is available through the Ventura County APCD or the Contractors' State License Board or check in your telephone directory under "Asbestos Abatement and Removal Service."
If a building or home is being demolished, a licensed asbestos contractor must remove all ACM prior to demolition. If a building or home is being renovated and the ACM may be disturbed, it must be removed by a licensed asbestos contractor prior to renovation.
Owners/occupants of single-unit dwellings personally performing renovations or demolitions are not regulated by Rule 62.7. However, the APCD strongly recommends that such operations be conducted in conformance with the rule's emission control requirements.
The disposal of waste asbestos containing materials must be in accordance with federal hazardous waste and state toxic waste laws.
Your building or home must be surveyed in order to obtain a demolition permit. A licensed asbestos contractor must remove the asbestos before demolition starts. An asbestos survey must be completed if ACM will be disturbed during remodeling and repair work.
The EPA established the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Asbestos to minimize the release of fibers during activities involving asbestos handling. The District regulates asbestos demolition and renovation operations using Rule 62.7 instead of the NESHAP.
Rule 62.7 applies to all renovation and demolition operations, including those not previously regulated under NESHAP. The rule applies to operations at dwelling units and operations involving 100 or more square feet of ACM. Residential single-unit dwellings where owner/occupant performs such operations are exempt.
The chart shown below indicates the provisions of Rule 62.7 and explains when a written notification must be submitted to the APCD.
* Written notifications must be postmarked or delivered to the District at least 10 working days prior to starting the work, and must be accompanied by the fee specified in APCD Rule 45.2.
If the operation is at a residential building having four or
fewer dwelling units, the 10-day waiting period and fee do
not apply, but the District must receive the notification
prior to beginning demolition or renovation work.
Homeowners personally performing asbestos removal operations in their primary residence are exempt. However, the APCD strongly recommends that licensed, trained professionals perform such operations.
The APCD Notification of Demolition or Renovation form should be used by demolition contractors and asbestos abatement contractors.
The APCD Asbestos Notification Revision form can be used to submit revised information to the APCD Notification of Demolition or Renovation form.
If an asbestos renovation or demolition operation requires a written notification, District Rule 45.2 specifies the fees to be submitted with the notification.
No fee is required for projects at a residential building having four or fewer dwelling units.
Fees are divided into the following categories:
Fees are due prior to the commencement of asbestos removal.
For a list of asbestos consultants and certified site technicians please go to the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) California Asbestos Consultants and Certified Site Technicians database or refer to the telephone directory’s yellow pages under Asbestos Consulting and Testing.
The Business and Professions Code and the Labor Code require asbestos consultants and site surveillance technicians to be certified by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
For a list of asbestos contractors please go to California Asbestos registrants' database.
Rule 62.7 does not apply to operations at residential single-unit dwellings where the owner/occupant performs such operations. However, the District strongly recommends that such operations be conducted in conformance with the emission control requirements of this rule. The waste disposal of asbestos-containing materials must be in accordance with state and federal hazardous waste laws.
Homeowners who perform their own asbestos removal work can contract with the above Asbestos Contractors for transportation, disposal, or bagging of asbestos-containing waste. Please call the contractor to determine which services are offered. For additional listings, refer to the telephone directory’s yellow pages under Asbestos Abatement & Removal Services.
Source: Contractors' State License Board
Disposal of Asbestos Containing Material from a renovation at a residential single unit dwelling, which is being performed by the owner/occupant, must be disposed of in accordance with state and federal regulations.
The following disposal site, located nearby Ventura County, accepts ALL types of Asbestos Containing Material. CALL the landfill prior to transporting Asbestos Material to the landfill:
The following disposal sites, located in Ventura County, accept ONLY NON FRIABLE (Category I & II) types of Asbestos Containing Material. CALL the landfill prior to transporting Asbestos Material to the landfill:
Category I Nonfriable Asbestos Containing Material is "Asbestos-containing packings, gaskets, resilient floor covering, and asphalt roofing products, which are not in poor condition and which contain more than 1 percent asbestos."
Category II Nonfriable Asbestos Containing Material is "any material, excluding Category I nonfriable ACM, containing more than 1 percent asbestos that, when dry, cannot be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure." e.g., Transite pipes, Transite/Cement shingles
The California Air Resources Board has recently published an informative handbook entitled "Asbestos - What you need to know." Copies can be obtained by contacting Wendy Slabaugh at (916) 327-7211.
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