Despite Alaska being a state where asbestos illness is less common and the material not as prevalent in homes as it is in the continuous 48 states. Alaskan industries however, did you asbestos for a number of packing, insulation and painting applications, opening the possibility that those that worked in those industries during the 70s and 80s may develop illnesses later on. An additional, unique challenge for Alaska is that asbestos minerals are naturally occurring and not exceptionally rare. This includes at mining sites where other minerals as mined. Secondary contamination is a major issue when dealing with construction in Alaska. There also remains the possibility that workers may become sick with mesothelioma as the symptoms can take as long as forty years to manifest.
What is the Alaska asbestos law definition of asbestos?
Alaskan asbestos law recognizes the following things:
– Asbestos is a carcinogen that increases chances of lung cancer
– Asbestos was used widely in Alaskan industry prior to EPA regulations
– Miners, fire proofers, ship builders, textile workers and others are the most susceptible to asbestos contamination
– Due to the possible presence of asbestos in buildings, a professional should be consulted before any demolition.
Certification under Alaska asbestos laws
To be certified to carry out asbestos abatement, one must undergo a forty hour training video on Alaska asbestos laws, EPA laws related to asbestos and the potential danger from handling asbestos during abatement. Only after completing this course may the worker submit a $50 certification fee and a photo to the state government for certification. The certification must be renewed yearly and an eight hour refresher course must be completed each time. Those that allow their license to expire must retake the 40 hour course. Alaska asbestos laws guarantee that these certified individuals are the best option to remove asbestos from a property and will do so safely.
Materials that should be removed
Under state law, even non-friable material that may at some point be exposed due to poor condition should be removed. This includes floor tiles and roofing material. All friable material must be removed as this is a slowly degrading substance that is likely to sicken you or others as it releases fibers.
Individuals certified by Alaska asbestos laws are charged with conducting testing for asbestos fibers. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has set the threshold for dangerous exposure at 2.3 (fibers/cm3)-1 of airborne asbestos that can cause cancer.
Disposal of ACM
All asbestos related materials disposed of in Alaska must be labeled with:
"CAUTION. CONTAINS ASBESTOS FIBER. AVOID CREATING DUST. CANCER AND LUNG DISEASE HAZARD"
In addition, these materials must be stored while wet and this prevents fibers from escaping. Fibers are smaller than can be perceived by the human eye and easily spread through the air. Taking this precaution while removing and disposing of friable material is essential. Asbestos waste in Alaska is first inspected, then buried at a disposal site, under the supervision of the inspector or certified expert.