North Dakota has some of the lowest rates of asbestos contamination in the nation due to its sparse population and relative lack of industry. There is some risk from asbestos-like materials used to pave roadways and small scale manufacturing of insulation using contaminated vermiculite ore from the now closed Libby mine in neighboring Montana. Federal government mandates are applied to North Dakota asbestos laws and will reflect proper asbestos abatement, worker safety and licensing of professionals to remove asbestos. The state will also regulate when asbestos containing materials will be disposed and stored.
Asbestos in the home
Asbestos was used in a number of forms for homes built before 1980, with some applications now posing an immediate danger and others remaining somewhat harmless. The most harmful applications are the ones that will become friable. This includes plaster, popcorn ceilings, joint compound, drywall and floss insulation. All of these materials can break apart with minimal force, generally, human contact is sufficient. Friable asbestos is dangerous as fibrous asbestos can potentially break down into much smaller fibers and these fibers will be smaller than can be detected by the human eye. These particles lodge in the lungs and eventually pose a risk factor for asbestos related illness.
Not all asbestos in the home is friable and dangerous. Flooring, siding and roofing may all contain asbestos that is sealed in a hard, indurate material. Fibers cannot penetrate this. As long as this material remains intact, it poses no threat. In case of demolition, this material should be removed if it will crumble, as per North Dakota asbestos laws.
North Dakota asbestos law enforcement
The North Dakota Department or Health, Asbestos Control Program, handles the licensing of asbestos professionals and the collection of permits. This department will also provide education on a number of asbestos related topics and helpful links for homeowners and others that are unclear of North Dakota asbestos laws, particularly laws pertaining to individual asbestos abatement in the home. Single family homes are generally not subject to the stringent requirements placed on other structures.
All other structures are required to provide ten days advance notification of any procedure involving demolition or renovation. This notification form will include sections to account for the amount and type of asbestos in the building, as well as contact information for the asbestos contractor, method of removal and disposal site for the ACMs.
You will need to notify the NHD is the structure contains 160 square feet of asbestos-containing surfacing material or more than 260 linear feet of asbestos-containing thermal system insulation.
You may file for asbestos litigation in North Dakota if you have developed an asbestos related illness. This will help you recover damages to compensate for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs associated with the illness. Generally, you need to have an illness or proof of exposure and cannot file suit based on probable exposure. This will depend on the standards used to evaluate the plaintiff claims in the case.