United States
                Environmental Protection
                 Office of
                 Public Affairs (A-107)
                 Washington DC 20460
February 1985
Asbestos Fact Book


                               DUST  HAZARD
                              AVOID BREATHING DUST
                                 WEAR ASSIGNED
                              PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
                              DO NOT REMAIN IN AREA
                               UNLESS YOUR WORK
                                  REQUIRES IT
                               BREATHING ASBESTOS
                                  DUST MAY BE
                                 TO YOUR HEALTHk

Dear Reader:
Asbestos is everybody's problem. It poses an
environmental problem that in one form or
another confronts every community in the
nation. This Asbestos Fact Book describes many
of the public health issues involving asbestos,
and what EPA and others in government are
doing to address them. We have tried to deal
with the difficult questions involving asbestos as
openly and as fully as possible, without editorial
comment or judgment.
  Asbestos is associated with several serious and
often debilitating health problems. Most public
concern is understandably focused on the effects
to children who are exposed to asbestos in
schools. But asbestos is a potential danger for
anyone who is directly exposed to it, whether
such exposure takes place in the home or the
workplace. This is one reason  we tiave added a
section outlining basic precautions that should
be taken by any person who works with or in the
vicinity of asbestos.
  The challenges of removing or abating asbestos
contamination are complex and formidable, but
Federal, state  and local governments, with the
help of concerned  citizens and community
leaders, are beginning to make encouraging
progress. I feel certain this progress will
continue in the years ahead.
  This fact book includes addresses and
telephone numbers of several EPA offices
responsible for asbestos-related activities in
Washington and our regional offices. Please
contact any of these sources directly if you have
further questions about asbestos or the
information in this book.
                      Lee M. Thomas

Description of Asbestos	2
Identifying Asbestos	2
Health Concerns	2
Federal Regulatory Program	".	3
Key Issues ;
Asbestos irrSchools	4
Asbestos in Buildings	v;	4
Asbestos in Homes	5
Safety Guidelines	5
Asbestos in Motor Vehicle Brakes	6
Asbestos Wastes	6
Other EPA Efforts
Asbestos Action Program	8
Asbestos Information Centers	8
Contractor Certification Program	8
Worker Protection Standards	9
Research	9
Chronology of Major Federal Actions	 10
Asbestos Contacts	 1°
Information Materials	 11
of Asbestos

Asbestos is the name for a
group of natural minerals
that separate into strong,
very fine fibers. The fibers are
heat-resistant and extremely
durable, and  these qualities
have made asbestos very
useful in construction and
industry. Although there are
several different types of
asbestos, nearly 95 percent of
all asbestos used in
commercial products is a type
called chrysotile.
  The potential of an
asbestos-containing product
to release fibers is dependent
upon several  factors including
its location and its degree of
friability. Friable means that
it can be crumbled with hand
pressure and, therefore, is
likely to emit  fibers when
disturbed. The fibrous or
fluffy spray applied asbestos
materials found in many
buildings for  fireproofing,
insulating, or decorative
purposes are  generally
considered friable.  Some
materials, such as vinyl floor
tiles are less likely to emit
airborne fibers unless
subjected to sanding or
cutting operations.
  Between  1900 and 1980,
some 30 million tons of
asbestos were put in place.
Since the 1970s, however,
asbestos use has declined
significantly.  The United
States now mines and
processes about 200,000 tons
of asbestos every year into
hundreds of different

Asbestos has been used in a
variety of forms. It has been
sprayed or trowelled on
ceilings, beams, walls, and
other structural components
of buildings. It was used for
thermal, acoustical, and
decorative purposes, and to
insulate boilers and pipes, as
well as many other
construction materials and
appliances. It is best to
assume that a product does
contain asbestos if this
cannot be determined from
the label,  the installer, or the
manufacturer. EPA has a
toll-free number where people
can find the names of
laboratories qualified to test
and analyze samples for
asbestos (800-334-8571 ext


The physical properties that
give asbestos its resistance to
heat and decay are linked
with several adverse human
health effects. Asbestos tends
to break into a  dust of
microscopic fibers. Because of
their size and shape, these
tiny fibers can remain
suspended in the air for long
periods of time and can easily
penetrate body  tissues when
inhaled. Because of their
durability, these fibers can
remain in the body for many
  Asbestos is known to
cause asbestosis and various
forms of cancer. Asbestosis is
a chronic disease of the lungs
which makes breathing
progressively more difficult,
and can lead to death.

  Cancer can result from
breathing asbestos fibers.
Lung cancer, the most
frequently seen
asbestos-caused disease, is
apparently made much more
likely by smoking. Breathing
asbestos also can cause
mesothelioma, a cancer of
the chest and abdominal
membranes that causes
shortness of breath and pain
in the abdomen and walls of
the chest. Mesothelioma
almost never occurs without
exposure to asbestos,  and is
currently incurable. Other
cancers, primarily of the
digestive tract, also have been
associated with exposure to
  These diseases have a long
latency period — that is, they
don't show up until 20 to 40
years after exposure. Right
now, for example, we  are
seeing the results of exposure
that occurred among  asbestos
workers during World War II.
  Some people who have been
exposed even to very low
levels of asbestos for very
brief periods have later
contracted mesothelioma.
Because asbestos fibers
remain in the body, each
exposure increases the
burden of asbestos.
Regulatory Program

Over the last ten years, the
U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency and several
other federal agencies have
acted to prevent unnecessary
exposure to asbestos by
prohibiting some uses and by
setting exposure standards in
the workplace. Now the
government is also acting to
limit exposure to the public
at large.
  Five agencies have major
authority to regulate
  The Occupational Safety
and Health Administration
(OSHA) sets limits for worker
exposure on the job.
  The Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) is
responsible for preventing
asbestos contamination in
food, drugs, and cosmetics.
  The Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSCj
regulates asbestos in
consumer products. It already
has banned the use of
asbestos in dry-wall patching
compounds, ceramic logs,
and clothing. The CPSC is
now studying the extent of
asbestos use in consumer
products generally, and is
considering a ban  on all
non-essential product uses
that can result in the release
of asbestos fibers.
  The Mine Safety and
Health Administration
(MSHA) regulates mining and
milling of asbestos.
  The Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA)
regulates the use and
disposal of toxic substances
in air, water, and land, and
has banned all uses of
sprayed asbestos materials.
The effects of cumulative
exposure to asbestos have
been established by dozens of
epidemiological studies. In
addition, EPA  has  issued
standards for handling and
disposing of
asbestos-containing wastes.
  EPA has a program to help
abate asbestos exposure in
schools. Since 1982, when
EPA issued the
Identification and Notification
Rule, the agency has required
all local education  agencies to
inspect for friable asbestos
materials; to notify parents
and teachers if such
materials are found; to place
warning signs in schools
where asbestos is found; and
to keep accurate records of
their  actions to eliminate the
  Congress passed the
Asbestos School Hazard
Abatement Act of 1984 to
help those schools with the
most serious hazards and the
greatest financial need. The
Act gives EPA the
responsibility for providing
both  financial and technical
assistance to local education
agencies. Financial
-assistance, for which
Congress has appropriated
$50 million, will include
grants and loans. These
funds will be allocated on the
basis of state assigned
priorities: the financial
resources of the requesting
educational agencies; the
degree of asbestos exposure;
and the efficiency and cost
effectiveness of the proposed
abatement techniques.
  EPA offers technical
assistance and guidance on
asbestos. Under the TAP
(Technical Assistance
Program), each of the
agency's ten regions has a
Regional Asbestos
Coordinator backed up by a
staff of technical experts (see
page  22). Since 1979, the
program has provided advice
to thousands of school
officials and building owners.
  EPA has also published
several guidance documents
that provide state-of-the art
guidance on how to identify
and control friable
asbestos-containing materials
(see page 23). In addition, the
Agency is beginning the
operation  of several new
programs. These include:
• contractor certification
• 3 pilot information centers
• rules to provide worker
protection during asbestos
abatement activities
• expanded technical
assistance materials.

  The details of these
programs are covered in the
sections that follow.

Key  Issues
Asbestos in
Since 1979, EPA has operated
a Technical Assistance
Program to help schools
identify and control airborne
asbestos to safeguard the
health of an estimated 15
million children and 1.4
million school workers in
schools containing friable
asbestos. The mere presence
of asbestos,however, does not
necessarily represent a
significant health risk in
schools or other buildings.
Asbestos only poses a threat
when friable material
degrades or is destroyed and
the asbestos fibers escape
into the air and are inhaled.
  EPA has not set a standard
for asbestos in school as such
since conditions and
problems must be addressed
for each school. The Agency
has concluded that each
school should be handled on
a case-by-case basis to
determine the extent of the
problems and the best ways
for resolving  them
expeditiously. Removing
asbestos is not always the
safest or most feasible
approach. One of four
alternative abatement
techniques or options is
employed when asbestos is
found in schools or other
buildings depending on
specific conditions found at
each individual site. (These
are described in detail on
page 18.)
  All 10 EPA regional offices
have Asbestos Coordinators
to help schools deal with
asbestos problems, conduct
training seminars, and give
guidance on  different
alternatives to reduce
asbestos exposure. There is a
toll-free number where callers
can get the names of
laboratories that are qualified
to test and analyze asbestos
samples (800-334-8571,  ext.
6741) and another where the
general public can get
technical assistance

Inspection and
Notification  Rule

In 1982, EPA issued an
Asbestos-in-Schools Rule that
required all public and
private schools to inspect
their buildings for friable
asbestos containing
materials. The schools were
to complete this inspection by
June 28, 1983. The Rule also
required these schools to take
samples and have them
analyzed for asbestos content,
keep records of these
transactions,  and notify
employees and parents if
asbestos was  found.


During January  1984, EPA
completed a survey of 2,600
public school districts and
private schools to determine
compliance with the
Asbestos-In-Schools Rule.
This survey showed that one
third of these 2,600 schools
may have asbestos problems,
but that two-thirds of these
had either taken action to
correct the problem or were
in the  process of voluntarily
correcting the problem. Other
results from the Survey
showed that 93 percent of the
2,600 schools had been
inspected but that only 34
percent were in full
compliance with all the
requirements of the EPA
Rule. (Additional schools may
now be in compliance.) As  of
January 14, 1985, EPA has
issued 147 civil complaints
nationwide, fining school
districts a total of $1,333,445
for non-compliance.

in Buildings

Asbestos was once considered
a health risk only for asbestos
workers.  It is now known to
be a potential hazard to all
who are exposed to asbestos
fibers in the air they breathe.
  Sources of potential
exposure to asbestos fibers
from asbestos-containing
friable materials include
those materials sprayed or
trowelled onto ceilings,
rafters, beams and other
structural building parts for
fireproofing, insulation,
sound-deadening or
decoration, or used as pipe
and boiler insulation. Friable
materials are those that can
be crumbled, pulverized or
reduced to powder by hand


EPA recently conducted a
national survey to determine
the extent of
asbestos-containing  friable
material in buildings. The
primary objective of the
survey was to generate valid
national estimates of the
number of buildings that
have asbestos-containing
materials and to integrate the
results of the survey in
planning the agency's
asbestos program.


There are 3.5 million
buildings in the United States
that are included in  one of
three classes; Federal
Government buildings;
private non-residential
 buildings; and residential
 apartments. About 700,000 of
 these buildings (20 percent)
 contain friable asbestos.
  It is estimated that there
 are 1.2 billion square feet of
 sprayed-on or trowelled-on
 asbestos materials, with an
 average asbestos content of
 14 percent, in 190,000
 buildings. Buildings  built in
 the 1960s are more likely to
 have these materials  than
 other buildings. About
 550,000 buildings are
 estimated to have
 asbestos-containing pipe and
 boiler insulation with an
 average asbestos content of
 70 percent.


 Inspection teams conducted
 extensive inspections of 231
 buildings which were a
 statistically representative
 sample of the 3.5 million
 buildings in the three classes
 of buildings noted  above
 (Federal government
 buildings, private
 non-residential buildings and
 residential apartments). The
 study was conducted in 10
 sites (cities or groups of
 counties) chosen to represent
 the continental U.S. They
were in the vicinities of New
Brunswick, NJ; Chicago,  IL;
 Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ;
 Kansas City, MO; Darlington
 Co., SC; Reno Co., KS;  New
York, NY; Oklahoma City, OK;
 and Houston, TX.

 Loan  and
 Grant Program

 Congress passed the  Asbestos
 School Hazard Abatement Act
 in August 1984, and
subsequently gave  EPA  $50
 million to assist those schools
with the most serious
asbestos exposure problems
 and financial need. The Act
 authorizes expenditures of
 $50 million for the program
 in 1985, and $100 million per
year for each of the next five
years. Congress has not,
 however, appropriated these

  Non-interest loans,
repayable over 20 years, may
be awarded for up to 100
percent of an abatement
project. Grants may be
awarded for up to 50 percent
of the cost of a project. Some
schools may qualify for both a
grant and a loan.
  Applications, which were
sent to schools in December
1984, must be completed and
submitted to Governors who,
in turn, are to submit priority
lists of candidates to EPA by
March 15, 1985. (EPA
specialists are available at the
answer questions about
filling out applications.) EPA
will determine the eligibility
of applicants and begin
distributing funds by June 6,
1985, so that schools can
conduct abatement  activities
next summer.
in Homes
Where is Asbestos
Used in the Home?

Asbestos has been used in a
wide variety of products for
four basic reasons: (1) to
strengthen the product
material; (2) for thermal
insulation within a product;
(3) for thermal or acoustical
insulation or decoration on
exposed surfaces; and (4) for
fire protection.

Vinyl floor tiles and flooring:
Asbestos fibers can be
released if the tiles are
sanded or seriously damaged
or if the backing on the sheet
flooring is dry-scraped or
sanded or if the tiles are
severely worn or cut to fit into
place. Rather than removing
them, the flooring should be
covered by new material.

Patching compound and
textured paints: The use of
asbestos in these products
was banned in 1975. Any old
products should be discarded.
Sanding or scraping old
material can release asbestos
fibers. To repair damaged
material, Safety Guidelines
(see next section) should be
Friable Ceilings: Buildings
built or remodeled between
1945 and 1978 may contain
crumbly, asbestos-laden
material in the ceilings.
Trained contractors should be
hired to remove it or
encapsulate the material with
a coating.
Stoves and furnaces: Cement
sheet material around stoves
probably will not release
asbestos fibers unless
scraped. Paper or millboard
poses greater hazards and
should be handled according
to the safety guidelines.
Furnace insulation should be
replaced if it is in poor
condition with pieces
breaking off. The Safety
Guidelines (see next section)
suggest the proper

Walls and pipes: If insulation
around pipes dated from
1920 to 1972 is damaged, it
is usually better to use wide
protective duct tape to repair
it rather than to try to remove
the insulation itself. Wall and
ceiling insulation installed
between 1930 and 1950 may
contain asbestos and,  in
major renovations or
demolitions, should only be
handled by trained

Appliances: Unless broken or
misused, most appliances
with asbestos are safe  to use.
Unsafe models have been
withdrawn voluntarily from
the market by the

Roofing, shingles and siding;
Asbestos was used as a
binding agent with portland
cement in some materials. If
it is worn, it may be spray
painted to seal in the fibers.
To repair or replace it, the
Safety Guidelines should be

How Can I Tell if I Have
Asbestos in My Home?

The manufacturer of a
product may be able to tell
you, based on the model
number and age of the
product, whether or not the
product contains asbestos.
People who have frequently
worked with asbestos (such
as plumbers, building
contractors, or heating
contractors) often are able to
make a reasonable judgment
about whether or not a
material contains asbestos
based on a visual inspection.

If I Find Asbestos  in My
What Should I Do?

In most cases,
asbestos-containing materials
do not need to be removed.
They should be periodically
inspected for signs of damage
or deterioration and repaired
as necessary. When  it is
necessary to use or work With
materials, reduce your
exposure to fibers as much as
possible. To help you do this,
follow the general Safety
Guidelines on the next page.
If at all possible,  get help
from a contractor who is
trained and experienced in
working with asbestos. Be
sure the contractor  is familiar
with and follows the
guidelines for handling
materials. In general, home
repair contractors are NOT
experienced in the proper
procedures for handling



If you think that a material
contains asbestos, and you
have to disturb it, handle it
very carefully. Special
precautions should be taken
during removal or
encapsulation of exposed or
damaged asbestos-containing
material. If possible, find a
contractor trained in safe
procedures for handling
asbestos. The contractor
should follow these basic

1. Do not disturb any
material you think may
contain asbestos unless you
have to. Removal of the
material is usually the last

2. Seal off the work area from
the rest of the residence.
Plastic sheeting and duct tape
may be used. Take great care
not to track asbestos dust
into other areas of the

3. Always wear  an approved
respirator. Wear protective
gloves, hats, and other
protective clothing. If
possible, dispose of all of this
equipment immediately after
using it. If you  cannot
dispose of your  clothing,
wash it separately from the
family's wash.

4. When working with
asbestos-containing material,
wet it with a hand sprayer.
The sprayer should provide a
fine mist,  and the material
should be thoroughly
dampened, but  not dripping
wet. Wet fibers do not float in
the air as readily as dry fibers
and will be easier to clean up.
The addition of a small
amount (about  a teaspoon to
a quart of water) of a
low-sudsing dish or laundry
detergent will improve the
penetration of the water into
the material and reduce the
amount of water needed.

5. If you must drill or cut an
asbestos-containing material,
do the drilling or cutting
outside if possible. Wet the
material first (see item 4,
 6. If you must remove the
 material, avoid breaking it
 into small pieces. While it is
 easier to remove and handle
 small pieces, you are more
 likely to release asbestos
 fibers. Pipe insulation was
 usually installed in preformed
 blocks; remove these in
 complete pieces.

 7. EPA has regulations
 concerning asbestos disposal.
 Place any material you  remove
 and any debris from the work
 in plastic trash bags and
 dispose of it in a proper
 landfill. Call your health
 department for instructions
 about how to dispose of this.
 Take care not to break the

 8. After you finish removing
 the material, thoroughly clean
 the area with wet mops, wet
 rags, or sponges. Repeat the
 cleaning procedure a second
 time. Wetting will help  to
 reduce the chance that the
 fibers get spread around.
 Again, see that no asbestos
 material is tracked into other
 areas. If possible, dispose of
 the mop heads, rags, and
 sponges in the trash bags
 with the removed materials.
 Otherwise, vigorously flush
 the mop, rag, or sponge in
 running water in a sink or
 basin with a drain. Make sure
 to completely rinse both the
 utensil and the basin.

 9. If you are going to have
 work done by a contractor,
 discuss these guidelines and
 other steps to minimize
 asbestos exposure.

 CAUTION: Do not dust,
 sweep, or vacuum particles
 suspected of containing
 asbestos. This disturbs tiny
 asbestos fibers and may
 make them airborne. The
fibers are so small that they
 cannot be seen and can
 pass through normal
 vacuum cleaner filters and
 get back into the air. The
 dust should be removed by a
 wet-mopping procedure or
 by specially-designed
 vacuum cleaners used by
 trained asbestos
Asbestos in

Motor Vehicle


Asbestos is used widely in
motor vehicle brakes, and
people who work directly on
brake maintenance are widely
exposed to exceptionally high
levels of asbestos. This occurs
when brakes are cleaned and
serviced during routine
maintenance activities. EPA
is establishing a Brake
Mechanics Program to
provide information and
education on asbestos
problems to
vocational/technical students,
working mechanics, and
brake repair and
maintenance specialists. The
program will alert these
specialists to the presence of
asbestos in brakes, and to
methods that will minimize
the release of asbestos fiber
into the workplace.



EPA and other federal
agencies have specific
regulations in place regarding
asbestos wastes. They cover a
period that ranges from the
time the wastes are generated
to their disposal at a
receiving facility.

Generation  of
Asbestos Wastes
Asbestos-containing wastes
are generated by a variety of
processes that include:

Mining and Milling: These
operations generate large
quantities of residual
asbestos rocks and tailings.
EPA regulations require that
these wastes be handled in
such a way as to prevent any
visible dust emissions.
Controls range from wetting
down wastes, using exhaust
ventilation systems during
mining and milling
operations, and
decontaminating equipment
that controls or comes into
contact with the wastes.

Manufacturing and
Fabricating: Asbestos
products are manufactured
by combining the milled
asbestos with binders, fillers,
and other materials. The
resultant mixture  is typically
 molded, formed or sprayed
 and subsequently cured or
 dried. Manufactured products
may then be fabricated for
specific uses by another
 manufacturer, the installer of
 the  product, or the consumer.
 EPA requires a variety of
 controls on these wastes.
 These range  from controlling
 emissions of waste dust,
 special handling procedures,
 and warning labels on the
 proper disposal of the

 Removal Operations: A
 significant quantity of
 asbestos-containing wastes
 may be generated during the
 removal of friable asbestos
 materials from buildings.
There are several EPA
regulations governing these
removal actions. All friable
asbestos materials must be
removed prior to any
demolition. Removal or
encap- sulation also is
required before the start of
any renovation that would
disturb the asbestos. EPA
and OSHA require several
actions during a removal
activity. These include
enclosing the work areas with
barriers, and the installation
of air filters and work
facilities. All wastes must be
wetted to prevent visible
emissions. They must also be
containerized and properly
labeled. Cleanup of all debris
following a removal operation
is also required.

Transport of
Asbestos Wastes
Transportation begins at the
time wastes are hauled away
from a generation site and
ends when the wastes are
actually delivered and
unloaded at a disposal site.
EPA regulations state only
that no visible emissions of
the asbestos wastes occur
during transport although
several other safeguards are
also recommended that

Recordkeeping: A
"chain-of-custody" form that
is passed from the generator
to the transporter, and
ultimately to the person
receiving the wastes at a
disposal site.

Containers: The use of
properly labeled, leak-tight
containers for transporting
the wastes and instructions
on how to handle the wastes
during transport.

Vehicles: Options, such as
using enclosed carrying
compartments or canvas to
cover wastes, are
recommended for vehicles
carrying wastes.
Disposal of
Asbestos Wastes

There are EPA regulations
governing the disposal of
asbestos wastes at active and
inactive disposal sites that
Site Selection: There must be
no visible dust  emissions
from the site during disposal
and a thick covering (at least
six inches) of non-asbestos
material must be placed over
the wastes within 24 hours.
Many States and localities
have programs  for approving
and licensing asbestos
disposal sites.
Receiving Wastes: A waste
hauler must notify a landfill
of any load containing
asbestos wastes and the load
must be inspected by the
landfill operator to ensure the
wastes are in leak-proof
containers and are labeled
properly. The landfill operator
also is to notify EPA of any
suspected fiber releases
during disposal. If the wastes
are not in proper containers,
the landfill operator must
keep the wastes wet until
they can be covered with a
non-asbestos material.
Site Requirements: A facility
must establish clearly
designated areas and
trenches for the disposal of
asbestos wastes and
safeguards must be instituted
to cover the wastes and  avoid
breakage of the containers. In
addition, a 30 inch cover of
non-asbestos material must
be added to the six inch cover
(put on to prevent dust
emissions) before the final
closure of an area containing
asbestos wastes. Proper
grading and vegetation must
be added to prevent erosion of
the wastes.

Other Requirements: EPA
also requires other actions to
control public access to site
areas containing asbestos
wastes and requires that
facilities provide for proper
recordkeeping of asbestos

Other  EPA  Efforts
Asbestos Action


The Asbestos Action Program,
which was established within
EPA's Office of Pesticides and
Toxic Substances in
December 1984, directs and
implements  all of EPA's
nonregulatory asbestos
  The program  develops
guidelines and procedures for
dealing with asbestos
problems; runs a variety of
technical and public
information programs; and
manages and coordinates
asbestos-related activities
within EPA  and with other
government and
  The program  staff also will:
• establish information and
training centers.
• establish contractor
certification programs.
- develop guidelines to
identify the  most serious
asbestos risks in buildings.
- provide assistance to
citizens, contractors and
others on locating asbestos,
recommending  abatement
actions,  and existing health
effects data.
- implement the Asbestos
School Hazard Abatement Act
of 1984, which calls for EPA
to provide grants or loans to
schools with the most serious
asbestos problems that are in
the most severe financial
- provide guidance to local
school agencies and States in
completing loan/grant
- coordinate and administer,
within EPA and the
Department of Education, the
review of loan/grant
applications, and the award
of funds.
- chair work groups for
regulations in their early
stage of development.
- work with the Consumer
Product Safety Commission
regarding asbestos  in homes,
and other Federal Agencies on
asbestos- related program.
- chair the Federal Asbestos
- develop public information
- coordinate the asbestos
programs within EPA.
• More detailed information
about these particular
projects is included in this



EPA plans to establish three
pilot Asbestos Information
and Training Centers to
provide information to the
public on how to identify and
abate asbestos hazards and to
educate and train people in
proper asbestos identification
and abatement techniques.
The centers also will serve as
clearinghouses,  and will
distribute general
information, guidance
documents, and audiovisual
  The first center will be
located at the Georgia
Institute of Technology and
will open in the spring of
1985. The other two centers,
located at the University of
Kansas (Kansas City, KS) and
Tufts University (Medford,
MA), will open by the summer
of 1985.
  The centers will sponsor
technical symposia and
conferences to train people
involved in various aspects of
asbestos abatement. Three
types of training courses will
be offered at each center — a
one-day general awareness
course geared toward the
general public (teachers,
parents, etc.) — an
abatement course for
decisionmakers (building
owners and managers who
must make abatement
decisions) to discuss methods
for identifying and controlling
friable asbestoscontaining
materials — and a three-day
course designed to provide
classroom as well as
"hands-on" training for
workers and supervisors who
are involved in asbestos
abatement projects.
  Target audiences also will
include architects,
maintenance personnel,
school officials,  and
abatement contractors.
Depending on the success
and effectiveness of these
pilot centers, EPA may
expand the program and
establish additional centers
in the future.



EPA is developing a model
State contractor certification
program to address the
problem of inconsistent
performance by asbestos
abatement contractors. The
goal of the program is to
ensure that abatement work
is performed by qualified
professionals who use
state-of-the-art techniques
and are held accountable for
their performance.

State Certification
Each State program is to
include uniform certification
criteria, standardized
training courses, testing for
technical knowledge of
asbestos and abatement
practices,  auditing  of
abatement job performance,
and periodic retraining

EPA's Asbestos Action
Program will undertake the
following actions to establish
a contractor certification
• Develop a contractor
certification course.
• Develop a model State
• Provide guidance  for State
enabling legislation.
• Provide States with
materials necessary to run
the certification courses.
• Develop a description of an
effective State monitoring and
oversight process.
• Provide incentives for State
participation in the program.

State Demonstration
Projects  '

In order to establish pilot
contractor certification
programs EPA will select
10-15 States to participate in
demonstration projects. Each
State that is selected will be
provided, on an accelerated
basis, the certification
courses,  the instructors'
packages, and the model
State regulation. A generic
contract with appropriate
specifications  for asbestos
work, and a description of an
effective monitoring and
oversight process for asbestos
projects will also be developed
for the projects. The State of
Maryland's program has been
used as a model for many of
these materials.  These
programs will begin by June
5, 1985.



There are regulations in effect
which protect many workers
from asbestos risks. These
regulations exist under
programs administered and
enforced by The U.S.
Department of Labor's
Occupational Safety and
Health Administration
(OSHA). Public sector workers
and workers in firms with
less than 10 employees,
however, are not uniformly
covered by these OSHA
regulations. EPA is
examining several options for
providing protection to these
  These options include:
Protecting Abatement
Workers: EPA will determine,
by June 1985, whether it is
feasible to advance the same
kind of protection to all
asbestos abatement workers
that is currently provided to
workers covered by the OSHA
regulations. EPA also will be
determining whether it has
the statutory authority to
effect such rules, whether the
rules can be implemented
effectively, and whether they
can pass established
government clearance
Work Practices: EPA also is
investigating whether it is
feasible to promulgate a
regulation that would require
the establishment of certain
procedures and work
practices during all asbestos
abatement projects to reduce
(limit) the exposure of
building occupants and
workers to asbestos. Again,
EPA must determine if it has
the authority to apply these
rules, and if this approach is
the most efficient way to
address the potential worker
protection problems involved.

Service and Maintenance
Workers: EPA also will be
instituting a program aimed
at limiting the exposure of
building service and
maintenance personnel "to
asbestos during normal
maintenance activities. In
addition, EPA is preparing a
document that will provide
safety guidance for service
and maintenance personnel
who may have to deal with
asbestos in schools and other
buildings. A public
information campaign also
will be developed that alerts
maintenance workers about
appropriate work practices to
limit their exposure to
asbestos during normal
maintenance in buildings.

                                                            The health effects of asbestos
                                                            exposure described earlier
                                                            have been extensively
                                                            researched and verified.
                                                            Specific items include ways to
                                                            abate and handle asbestos
                                                            once it is discovered in some
                                                            building or area, the extent to
                                                            which it presents problems in
                                                            private homes, and the kinds
                                                            of materials that can serve as
                                                            safe substitutes.

                                                            Abatement and Handling
                                                            Techniques: Four alternative
                                                            abatement techniques or
                                                            options are currently used to
                                                            prevent or reduce the release
                                                            of asbestos fibers in schools
                                                            and other buildings. They

                                                            an operations and
                                                            maintenance plan involving
                                                            periodic reinspection of
                                                            asbestos-containing materials
                                                            which are in good condition.
                                                            This is the best alternative for
                                                            undamaged materials.

                                                            encapsulation, which
                                                            involves sealing asbestos with
                                                            tape or other sealants to
                                                            prevent the release of friable
enclosure by dropping
ceilings or installing new
walls to cover asbestos.

removal of the asbestos by
trained professionals in a
manner which prevents
disturbance of asbestos fibers
or their release into the air.
  It currently is unclear how
effective each of these
techniques is under a variety
of different Situations or
when different building
materials are involved.
Information is needed in this
regard to ensure the  safest
and most cost effective
remedies for handling
asbestos hazards in
buildings. EPA is conducting
research in this area.
Homes: At present no one
knows the  extent to which
asbestos in private homes
presents a  potential hazard.
CPSC is conducting a survey
of homes. EPA's technical
assistance  program can help
private homeowners ascertain
what they can do to address
the problem.

Substitutes: Various
materials are in use that
serve as substitutes for
asbestos. These include
cellulose, natural wool,
fiberglass, and other
spray-applied insulation
materials, EPA is in the
process of developing
programs to investigate and
assess the safety and
suitability of these

Chronology of
Major  Federal Actions
 *See Glossary for definition of acronyms used in this chronology.
Occupational Standards









 Air Emissions


                6/72  "permanent standard: for occupational
                     exposure of 5 f/cc, to be lowered to 2 f/cc in
               10/75  proposed lowering standard to 0.5 f/cc
                7/76  2 f/cc standard became effective
               12/76  recommended OSHA lower the standard to
                     0.1 f/cc
                3/76  2 f/cc standard in coal mines
               11/78  2 f/cc standard in metal and nonmetallic
                     mines (includes sand, gravel & crushed
                     stone operations)
               11/83  ssued emergency temporary standard
                     (ETS)ofO.S f/cc
               11/83  ETS stayed pending legal arguments by
                     asbestos industry
                3/84  ETS overturned in Federal District Court
                3/71  asbestos listed as a hazardous air pollutant
                4/73  "no visible emissions" standard for milling
                     and manufacturing of asbestos products
                     and demolition of buildings — prohibited
                     spray application for most uses of friable
                     materials containing more than 1%
U.S. Dept of     9/80 under the Asbestos School Hazard
Education            Detection and Control Act, proposed a rule
                     to establish a grant and loan program to
                     reimburse schools for detecting and
                     controlling friable asbestos-containing
                     materials in schools
U.S. Dept of     1/81  final rule — funds have not been
education            appropriated to conduct this program
EPA/TSCA       5/82  final rule on identification and notification
                     of friable asbestos-containing materials in
EPA/TSCA       2/83  EPA granted a substantial part of a Section
                     21 petition from the Service Employees Intl
                     Union to commence regulatory action on
                     schools and buildings asbestos abatement
EPA            8/84  under the Asbestos School Hazard
                     Abatement Act of 1984, administers a loan
                     and grant program to help schools elimiate
                     asbestos hazards
Commercial Use of Asbestos

CPSC         12/77 rules prohibiting use of asbestos in
                    consumer patching compounds and
                    emberizing agents

EPA/TSCA     10/79 ANPR with CPSC announcing intent to
                    consider regulations of commercial uses of

EPA/TSCA     12/79 ANPR modification

EPA/TSCA      9/80 proposed rule under Section 8(a) to require
                    reporting of production and exposure data
                    on asbestos

EPA/TSCA      7/82 final rule under Section 8(a) to require
                    reporting of production and exposure data
                    on asbestos
               10/75  waste collection and disposal included
                     under the no visible emissions standard —    Water Emissions
                     added several processing industries to
                     those already covered                       EPA/FWPCA
                6/78  extended prohibition to cover all uses of
                     friable spray-on material and no visible
                     emissions standard to cover all friable
                     asbestos-containing materials during
U.S. Supreme    1/78  decision in the Adamo Wrecking Co.  case
Court                ruled that EPA did not, prior to the 1977
                     Clean Air Act amendments, have the
                     authority to impose work practice
                     requirements, thus invalidating those
                     parts of the NESHAP regulations which are
                     not emissions standards
EPA/NESHAP    7/83  proposed reinstatement of these provisions

EPA            3/79 through the OTS, EPA initiated a technical
                     assistance program to help schools identify
                     and control friable asbestos-containing
EPA/TSCA      9/79 ANPR on asbestos-containing materials in
EPA/TSCA      9/80 proposed rule on identification and
                     notification of friable asbestos-containing
                     materials in schools
               2/74 effluent guidelines for asbestos
                    manufacturing point sources and new
                    source performance standards
                                                              Waste Disposal

                                                              Other Actions

               5/80 asbestos listed as a hazardous waste in
                    proposed rule
              11/80 when issuing interim final rules on
                    portions of the disposal regulations, EPA
                    stated it would "temporarily defer"
                    promulgation of the listing of asbestos
                    while investigating the extent to which
                    NESHAP facilities afford comparable
               8/79 rule to require controls during
                    transportation of friable asbestos
               3/75 rule to prevent release of asbestos from
                    filters used for some drugs

               1/76 rule to revoke permission to use the
                    electrolytic diaphragm profess for salt

ANPR   Advanced Notice of
        Proposed Rulemaking
CPSC   Consumer Product
        Safety Commission
DOT    Department of
f/cc     fibers per cubic
FDA    Food and Drug
FWPCA Federal Water Pollution
        Control Administration
        (became part of EPA)
MSHA  Mine Safety and Health
NESHAP National Emission
        Standard for
        Hazardous Air
 NIH    National Institutes of
 IMIOSH National Institutes for
        Occupational Safety
        and Health
 OSHA  Occupational Safety
        and Health
 RCRA  Resource Conservation
        and Recovery Act
 TSCA  Toxic Substances
        Control Act
EPA Region 1
JFK Federal Building
Boston, MA 02202
(617) 223-0585
EPA Region 2
Woodbridge Avenue
Edison, NJ 08837
(201) 321-6668
EPA Region 3
Curtis Bldg
6th and Walnut Streets
Phila, PA 19106
(215) 597-9859
EPA Region 4
345 Cortland Street
Atlanta, GA 30365
(404) 881-3864
EPA Region 5
230 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 6Q604
(312) 886-6003
EPA Region 6'
First International Bldg
1219 Elm Street
Dallas, TX 73270
EPA Region 7
726 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66101
(913) 236-2835
EPA Region 8
1860 Lincoln Street
Denver, CO 80295
(303) 837-3926
EPA Region 9
215 Fremont Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 974-8137
EPA Region 10
1200 6th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 442-2632


                                         Toll-Free  Numbers
                                         EPA          For names of labs
                                         800-334-8571  qualified to test
                                         ext 6741      and analyze
                                                      asbestos samples
                                         EPA          Where general
                                         800-424-9065 public can get
                                         EPA          Where schools
                                         800-424-9065 can get help in
                                                      filling out
                                         CPSC        For information
                                         800-638-2772 on asbestos  in
                                                      products or
Fact Sheets
  Asbestos in Schools
  Discusses EPA's regulation requiring all
private and public schools to inspect for
asbestqs, federal loans/grants available to
help schools abate asbestos problems,
methods for remedying asbestos problems,
and kinds of technical assistance EPA can
provide to schools. Includes list of EPA
Regional Asbestos Coordinators and a list
of available publications about asbestos.
  General information about asbestos, its
possible health effects, ways to remedy
asbestos problems, and where to go for

Technical Documents
  Asbestos-Containing Materials in School
Buildings: A Guidance Document, Part 1
March 1979
  Part 1 of this two-part guidance package
is written for school officials and outlines
steps that schools can take to conduct an
asbestos control program.
  Asbestos-Containing Materials in School
Buildings: A Guidance Document, Part 2 -
March 1979
  This part of the package contains more
detailed information on asbestos
identification and control methods. Part  2
is primarily for school personnel,
contractors, and others involved in actual
asbestos inspection and control work.
  Guidance for Controlling Friable
Asbestos-Containing Materials in
Buildings - March 1983
  This document serves to: 1) provide a
summary of data on exposure to airborne
asbestos; 2) identify issues in establishing
an asbestos control program; 3) review
technical issues confronted when assessing
the potential for exposure in indoor
settings; 4) provide information on
alternative remedial actions; 5) suggest a
process for selecting a particular course of
action; and 6) discuss criteria for
determining successful asbestos control.

Slide Show
  Training Material for Use with EPA's
1983 Asbestos Guidance Document
  Consists Of thre parts;  graphic materials
on 35 mm slides (55 slides), a companion
set of discussion points on cards,  and a
text. The presentation is designed to take
between 45 and 60 minutes and a question
and answer period is  suggested as a