Federal agencies still control most parts of the Montana asbestos abatement procedure with the EPA dealing with regulations regarding school buildings and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration dealing with worker safety and protocol in the workplace. All other mandates, such as regulations on dumping and disposal are reflected in Montana asbestos law. the Asbestos Control Program is the unified efforts of the federal and state government to manage asbestos contamination in the state. Funding is provided through the EPA and the collection of various license fees.
Sources of asbestos contamination
You will find asbestos in many applications in the home, from insulation to fireproofing. Some of these applications are friable, meaning that their presence is a health hazard due to the fact that they will break and crumble with minimal effort. Any material that has more than 1% of its weight in asbestos is classified as a regulated asbestos containing material. RACMs will be subject to the appropriate Montana asbestos abatement procedure, which generally includes full abatement for friable materials and limited removal of non-friable materials for simple renovations. Demolitions and fire training usually requires full removal as even non-friable materials become friable through these activities.
Many occupations will also have some danger of working with asbestos materials. Each of these occupations will have specific guidelines for working with asbestos containing materials. This includes asbestos abatement, which has standards for worker licensing, auto mechanics that may encounter asbestos brakes, and workers in public buildings, such as schools, as asbestos materials were prevalent during construction.
Wetting friable asbestos
A critical part of Montana asbestos abatement procedure is wetting friable materials. Doing so ensures that fibers to not escape and potentially sicken those close to the exposure site. When waterlogged, friable materials do not become airborne readily and instead remain mostly intact. When combined with a powerful micro filter, you can effectively make the level of asbestos present in the environment negligible.
Encapsulating friable asbestos is a reliable to ensure that some external friable applications are not disturbed. This is cheaper than removing, disposing and replacing old material and effectively seals the asbestos, preventing further release of harmful micro particles that will be lodged in the lungs. Encapsulation cannot be used on every surface and if the sealant is breeched, you risk having the same issues with possible contamination.
Where to find an asbestos inspector
The DEQ website maintains a listing of all inspectors and other professionals that can test for asbestos. The only reliable way to tell if you have an asbestos problem is through laboratory testing and the inspector will be able to facilitate this for a nominal fee. Most asbestos contamination is not discernible to the naked eye, but if you have visible emissions or a major release event, you have a very serious problem.