State governments have the responsibility to carry out standards and mandates set by federal agencies such as the EPA and OHSA. The EPA will focus on the environmental impact of asbestos waste, exposure and dumping while the OHSA will enforce mandates that protect workers from harmful exposure to asbestos. Among the state responsibilities are to set the Colorado asbestos abatement procedures which will provide standards to remove both friable and non-friable asbestos from properties and dispose of them in a safe manner.
What is friable asbestos?
Friable asbestos is asbestos that exists either in its natural or somewhat processed form. There is no sealant on friable asbestos and it is able to remain in a fibrous state. Each fiber of asbestos is comprised of millions of smaller fibers and it is these fibers that cause asbestos related illnesses when they are inhaled. Friable asbestos will be found in plaster and insulation. It will also be found in popcorn ceilings, which are a simple application of plaster, water and asbestos. This water and fire proofing measure was easy to apply and was used widely in home construction.
Non-friable material will be removed according to Colorado asbestos abatement procedures. If the property is being renovated and not demolished, there is generally no need to remove non-friable asbestos from the entire property. This is due to the fact that the non-friable asbestos is sealed and will not release fibers as long as the seal is in place. Friable asbestos can be turned into non-friable asbestos with special seals and other compounds that prevent it from breaking down and spreading asbestos dust. Check with the Air Pollution Control Division, Asbestos Unit, for more information on which materials must be removed and under what circumstances.
Generally any material found be contain more that 1% of its weight in asbestos should have to remove that material and dispose of it accordingly. For example, the joint compound used to hold sheets of drywall together had been found to contain more than 1% of asbestos by weight.
How do I dispose with the asbestos, under Colorado asbestos abatement procedures?
There are strict rules regarding the disposal of asbestos materials. Generally, non-friable asbestos that has not been compromised can be dropped off at any landfill with the prior approval of the manager there. Friable asbestos, on the other hand, must be stored in sealed containers, soaked and labeled with very specific caution warnings. Only five landfills in Colorado will be able to take friable asbestos. As is the case with all disposal, you need to contact the landfill in advance for any local requirements.
How may perform asbestos abatement in Colorado?
Although homeowners may remove asbestos on their own if it is their own primary residence, all other asbestos abatement must be performed by a professional, certified by the state authorities. These certified professionals must take a safety Colorado asbestos abatement procedure course and pass a test in order to receive certification.