Asbestos And Commercial Buildings

Originally workers involved in maritime work, manufacturing and building trades were exposed to the effects of asbestos. The effects of these included mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. However, exposure to asbestos in the above areas is very different than the exposure for the potential for people who occupy commercial buildings with asbestos-containing building materials, known as ACBM’s – these can be defined as buildings that contain asbestos at a rate of greater than one percent.

ACBM’s needed to be managed properly and this meant the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has to establish and specify work practices so asbestos release would be minimized when demolition and renovation activities take place. This means there are various rules and practices that have to be followed under what is known as the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulations – and these must be strictly adhered too.

ACBM’s can be managed in place by drafting and implementing an Asbestos Operations and Maintenance Plan (O&M Plan), which identifies the type, location as well as the condition of all ACBM’s.

This plan needs to be available for review by everyone involved in the maintenance and renovation of a building. by sticking to this plan, it will prevent exposure to asbestos and also ensure any activities are performed in a way that minimizes the potential health hazards.

The costs to do this varies a great deal. On the low end, it can be less than $2,000 – that said it is only part of the cost with ACBM’s. When asbestos fibers re-identified – here are a few ideas of what the cost should be for the removal of ACBM’s.

  • Sprayed on structural steel insulation and spray-on ceiling texture ranges from $25-40/square foot
  • Pipe insulation or ductwork insulation-$10-15/linear foot 
  • Floor tile and mastic (glue which adheres the floor tile to base floor) is usually $3.00-$5.00/square foot

These costs do not include:

  • The design for asbestos abatement from licensed asbestos designed professional
  • Pre-bid meetings with an abatement contractor obtaining competitive asbestos abatement pricing
  • Third-party air monitoring when the abatement activities are underway by an air monitor who is asbestos accredited
  • An inspection post-abatement taking air samples prior to the re-occupancy of the building

Undoubtedly, all of these should be performed by competent, experienced and accredited consultants. Note that some states prohibit those who monitor the air from directly working with the abatement contractor to prevent any conflicts of interest.

Asbestos, OSHA & AHERA Training Via Classroom & Online

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Disclaimer

The Asbestos Institute is not the official authority to determine OSHA training requirements, which are set forth in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA regulations are always being revised, added, and/or deleted, so you must not rely on The Asbestos Institute as the official authority of OSHA asbestos training requirements. Visit the official OSHA Asbestos Training Requirements page here.

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