In a recent post, we outlined the steps building managers and owners should take to remove mold after a water intrusion event. Recognizing the need to reduce or remediate mold is a great first step, but there are additional considerations beyond mold removal, the most important of which is determining whether or not the building materials affected by mold are safe to clean or remove.
Asbestos is one of the most heavily regulated substances in the U.S. It is very common to find it in drywall, insulation, floor tiles and many other building materials, especially in structures built prior to 1980. If you discover asbestos is present in your building, are you required to remove it? The short answer to that question is no. However, as a building owner you have certain responsibilities regarding the management of the asbestos.
In accordance with the EPA's Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule, commonly known as AHERA, public and private non-profit schools must:
Identify asbestos-containing materials
The inspections must be conducted by a licensed Asbestos Inspector, and a re-inspection is required every three years. The school must also maintain an Abestos Management Plan. Parents, teachers and school employees have the right to review the plan.
Maintain asbestos-containing materials in good condition
This includes appointing a designated person to receive training and ensure AHERA requirements are met.
Unexpected asbestos containing materials (ACMs) aren't the only things capable of derailing a renovation or demolition project. Consider the following:
Lead Based Paint (LBP)
An LBP assessment provides answers to three key questions: 1) Is there LBP in the interior and/or exterior of the building? 2) If LBP is present, where is it located? 3) How should lead hazards be managed to minimize the potential exposure to employees or building occupants? LBP inspections can include portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) testing, wipe sampling for lead-contaminated dust, and/or paint chip sampling.
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