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Ed Antz, Risk Manager Ed Antz, Risk Manager Maine School Management Association Asbestos in Schools: Manage it Safely.

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Presentation on theme: "Ed Antz, Risk Manager Ed Antz, Risk Manager Maine School Management Association Asbestos in Schools: Manage it Safely."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ed Antz, Risk Manager Ed Antz, Risk Manager Maine School Management Association Asbestos in Schools: Manage it Safely

2 What Is Asbestos? –Natural mineral; still mined in some countries –Thin, invisible, and strong (fibers!) –Resistant to heat and corrosion –Indestructible –Easy to mix with other products

3 Image credit: InspectAPedia.com Uses of Asbestos –In many building materials before 1981 –Fire protection and insulation –Cement products like sheeting, tiles, tanks –Some auto parts –Electrical wiring insulation –Fireproof blankets –Gaskets and filters Used in more than 3000 commercial products Still commonly used today in China, Russia, India

4 Image credit: InspectAPedia.com Common Uses in Schools –Floor tiles: most 9 by 9 tiles contain asbestos, some 12 by 12 –Boiler and pipe insulation –Cement products like fume hoods and boiler room walls (transite) –Some ceiling tiles –Some surfacing or sprayed-on materials

5 Health Risks –No real health risk when ACM is intact and not disturbed –Inhalation hazard from loose or disturbed asbestos called friable (loose or crumbly) –Airborne fibers too small to see; float in air for very long time

6 Health Risks: 5,000 die annually in US (32,000 from car accidents) Asbestosis, a scarring of the lungs, leads to cancer Mesothelioma, cancer of the lining of the chest Cancer of the lungs (most common disease by far); most from occupational exposures No cure for asbestos-related illnesses 90% of workers exposed to high amounts of ACM for long periods (20-40 years) develop asbestos- related disease! Smoking greatly increases the chance of cancer No established safe level of exposure Future disease is certain in China, Russia, India

7 Airborne fibers are inhaled Fibers become trapped in the lungs Causes scarring of lung tissues, then often lung cancer Main Route of Entry

8 Asbestos in Schools Asbestos abatement and asbestos management are both regulated in schools in Maine (two laws) Asbestos abatement (removal/repair) is regulated by Maine DEP and must: –Use only licensed contractors to do the work - Use specific work practices - Notify the DEP 10 days before the removal/repair takes place

9 Asbestos Management in Maine Schools US EPA (federal) passed asbestos laws in the 1980s called AHERA and EPA contracts out enforcement of AHERA to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) AHERA requires that school systems identify and safely manage asbestos in their buildings

10 Asbestos Management in Maine Schools Schools must have a Asbestos Management Plan (AMP) in the office that details MOST of the asbestos products and locations in the school Why only most locations in AMP? –AMP only looks at accessible materials –AMP could assume that materials are asbestos, so the book might NOT list every room/place (floor tile mostly)

11 Asbestos Management Requirements Schools must notify parents/staff each year that an AMP is available in the office; and of any planned asbestos projects Every three years, schools must hire a consultant to look assess the asbestos Removals/repairs done by only licensed companies (see below also)

12 Asbestos in Maine Schools (more) Schools must have a designated person that you should call when in doubt about asbestos. Be familiar with the AMP diagrams!!! Custodial closets and boiler rooms need asbestos stickers if asbestos is there

13 Asbestos in Maine Schools (more) Schools must train custodians within 30 days of hire (AMP and show locations in their building); once only for EPA training Schools must record asbestos surveillances every six months; can be done in-house Custodians can pick up and replace two (2) ceiling tiles, but NOT remove them for good! – (REMOVAL of EVEN ONE TILE is REGULATED)

14 Asbestos in Schools (more) Schools must inform outside contractors (electricians, plumbers, HVAC) of the availability of the AMP, and must alert them of any work areas that have asbestos. Contractors must sign a form stating that they have been so informed. Several schools in the US have been cited for this after contractors ripped out asbestos that they claim the school never told them about! One of your higher risks in a school.

15 Asbestos in Maine Schools (general) Schools continue to remove asbestos as buildings are renovated. A lot of the nasty asbestos has been removed. Most common item now is asbestos floor tile (VAT): 9 inch by 9 inch; funky colors! Good idea is to maintain asbestos in good condition and remove it during large renovations or demolition (more cost effective) Image Credit: Inspectapedia.com

16 Asbestos in Maine Schools (floortile) Schools CAN remove VAT but only under certain circumstances. The key is whole and intact removal of the tiles. Two allowable methods: infrared machines or heat gun; but the tiles must come up whole!

17 Asbestos in Maine Schools (floor tile) VAT removals are primarily for smaller areas where several tiles have become loose and are starting to lift, but one school district removed whole hallways during one several summers by heat gun!! It can be done. Store lightly damp tiles in two 6-mil poly asbestos bags in a labeled (sign) drum and dispose of when one drum is full. KEEP records of whole tile removals.

18 Maintenance is Key Schools should do their best to maintain asbestos in good condition and must implement corrective action(s) outlined in the 3-year professional inspection. Schools need an operations and maintenance (O&M) plan whenever friable asbestos is present. Plan could be simple and say we dont do any asbestos-related activities. KEEP records of any asbestos projects done by staff (VAT, O&M) and licensed contractors (response actions, abatements)!

19 Summary –Asbestos books must be available in the office of each school building and availably to the public. –Dont disturb materials that may contain asbestos, check the book! –Contact the DP with any questions/problems. –Periodic six-month and 3- year re-inspections must be done. –Asbestos may cause disease over time if exposure is high.

20 Asbestos in Schools: Manage it Safely Contact the Maine DEP at for more information, or Ed Antz, Risk Manager, MSMA


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