By federal regulation, certain building materials in all buildings built prior to 1980 are assumed to be asbestos containing. As a result, none of these materials can be disturbed until sampling and analysis prove they do not contain asbestos. A flowchart outlining the steps involved in this "proof" has been developed.
These "suspect" building materials include: plasters, floor tile, adhesives, and even concrete block. EPA has published a list of suspect building materials.
Asbestos fibers become a health hazard when they are released into the air and breathed into the lungs. Intact asbestos and undistrubed buildling materials do not pose a health hazard. SUNY Geneseo EHS has published a document that summarizes asbestos health related information and other asbestos related information. Additional information on mesothelioma, can be found here.
Asbestos is perhaps the most regulated mineral in New York State. Disturbing or using asbestos containing materials are subject to:
- New York State Code Rule 56
- Federal OSHA regulations, which are enforced by PESH for the NYS Public Sector
- Federal EPA regulations
SUNY Geneseo maintains an Asbestos Plan that outlines procedures for compliance with these and other applicable regulations.