Any state that has manufacturing has likely had some asbestos contamination affect their workers. This is true in Wisconsin, particularly in the manufacture of automotive parts, metal working and paper manufacturing. Former workers in Wisconsin’s factories have a higher than typical chance of developing asbestos related illness due to the material either being used in the product, insulating the machinery in the factory, or asbestos used in the building material of the factor itself. Wisconsin asbestos law focuses on asbestos abatement and safety. These will be based on mandates from the federal government and state agencies will maintain compliance divisions to ensure that all necessary laws are followed. Wisconsin has one of the higher rates of deaths from asbestos related deaths in the country.
Asbestos has heat proof qualities, which make it valuable for insulating machinery. As a silicate, asbestos does not burn, it disintegrates. It is this versatility, along with its many applications that most factories in Wisconsin have used some sort of asbestos compound to protect machinery. The insulating material will eventually break down due to wear and age and in the process, will release thousands of asbestos fibers.
Asbestos in buildings
The biggest concern under Wisconsin asbestos laws is the continued presence of asbestos in buildings. A national ban on asbestos building materials went into effect in the 1980s, but existing stocks of asbestos materials were used for a while afterward. Most asbestos must be removed by a licensed professional, although homeowners are allowed to do limited abatement on their own, in their houses only.
Categories of asbestos containing materials derive from federal classifications and denote which material must be removed from structures and under what circumstances. Friable materials are Category I materials. This includes insulation, wall plaster and some drywall. Generally, all of these materials must be removed under all circumstances as it is a direct source of asbestos fiber emissions. The other categories of materials, which are groups into Category II are non-friable in their current state. This may change if the material is damaged. There are two subdivisions of Category II that involve the nature of the material and those that will crumble after sufficient force is applied will be in a subcategory.
Wisconsin asbestos laws provide for the safe abatement of asbestos through commonly accepted procedures. The certification of professionals to perform proper asbestos abatement in structures is also a priority in Wisconsin asbestos laws, as this is based on mandates for proper training from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. The unauthorized removal of asbestos, without proper notification and permits will be punished under Wisconsin asbestos law.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Department of Health Services are two agencies that deal with asbestos abatement in Wisconsin. A unified notification system is used to notify both agencies about renovations and demolitions. Alternatively, the contractor may complete the form in writing, following the instructions on pages three and four of the form.