Asbestos | St. Lawrence University Environmental Health and Safety


JULY 30, 2002 (Revised January 12, 2005)

1. Introduction
Asbestos containing materials (ACM) were used widely as construction and insulating materials in buildings from the 1940s through the late 1970s. In many St. Lawrence University buildings, asbestos is present in the form of pipe, duct, and boiler insulation and in other construction materials such as floor tiles, fire proofing, and surface finishes. Asbestos containing materials are regulated by the Federal Government through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). In terms of employee and environmental protection, while asbestos is a serious health and safety concern, currently available data and risk assessments indicate that properly managed, undamaged asbestos containing materials in buildings do not present a significant health risk to building occupants.

2. Asbestos Terminology

Asbestos: Any fibrous silicates such as chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite.
Friable Material: Material that when dry can be crumbled, pulverized or powdered by hand pressure.
Abatement: An approved method for handling asbestos containing materials.
Air Monitoring: Collection of "asbestos in air samples".
Asbestos Containing Material: Any material that has been determined by laboratory testing to contain 1% or greater asbestos.
Asbestos Removal Project: The physical removal of asbestos containing materials by a licensed contractor employing trained and licensed personnel and following the applicable regulations.

3. Responsibility
Compliance with this policy is the responsibility of the managers of personnel at all levels within administrative, faculty, and ancillary operations, or managers of contracted activities where workers may come in contact with ACM. Complete records for all abatement projects conducted will be provided to the Environmental Health & Safety office.

4. Compliance
St. Lawrence University is committed to protecting the health and safety of its students, faculty, and staff from unsafe exposure to asbestos. The University will comply with applicable laws and regulations concerning asbestos containing materials. In support of this policy, the following principles will guide St. Lawrence University in the management of asbestos.

Suspected asbestos problems will be promptly investigated and appropriate action taken to protect the safety and health of the University community. Abatement procedures and activities should be fully documented and filed in the Environmental Health & Safety office.

Where required, abatement of asbestos may include removal, encapsulation, enclosure, or other forms of isolation and security to properly protect health and safety.

Asbestos abatement projects and disposal of asbestos containing materials shall be performed by qualified contractor personnel in accordance with established laws and regulations.

Communication with occupants of University buildings is an important element in effective asbestos management. Students, faculty and staff should be provided timely and accurate information about asbestos and asbestos abatement activities that may affect them.

For scheduled maintenance and construction projects involving asbestos abatement work, all building occupants potentially affected shall be notified by a written notice which will be posted by the abatement contractor.

5. Asbestos Abatement by Contractor
Only experienced/certified asbestos abatement contractors shall be employed by the University. It is the responsibility of the Facilities Project Manager to insure that all outside contractors and sub-contractors comply with this policy and the applicable regulations, including having the contractors provide the appropriate documentation to St. Lawrence University's Environmental Health and Safety office. As the legal "Building Owner" St. Lawrence University may be liable for all environmentally related incidences regardless of contractor negligence. A statement regarding compliance with this asbestos policy must be incorporated into contracts with outside firms. Furthermore, the contracts must indicate such that non-compliance may result in withholding payments.

In order to avoid delaying general construction, it is highly recommended that asbestos related phases of projects (asbestos abatement is usually included in demolition work) be scheduled as soon as possible once the project is budgeted.

In the event an asbestos waste bag ruptures in route from the asbestos work area to the hauling truck, the abatement contractor shall be liable for clean-up, including immediate containment of the spill and decontamination of all affected surfaces. The area around the spill shall be immediately cordoned off. Emergency air sampling shall then be arranged to determine if an airborne exposure hazard exists.

6. Summary
To summarize, ACM (friable and non-friable) shall only be removed or otherwise impacted by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor utilizing licensed workers. ACM or other asbestos contaminated debris/waste shall be properly labeled and transported off-site by a licensed waste hauler to a registered landfill, where proper manifesting procedures shall be utilized. All paperwork in regard to the ACM will be filed in the Environmental Health and Safety office.