There’s no known safe level of asbestos exposure
By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog
(April 4, 2019)
(PORTLAND, Ore.) OnlineEd – The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality regulates the handling, removal and disposal of asbestos-containing material to protect public health and the environment. These are four newer requirements by Oregon DEQ for asbestos removal.
1: Residential renovation asbestos survey
All houses and other residential buildings constructed prior to 2004 must now have an asbestos survey conducted by an accredited inspector prior to demolition and renovation activities, with one exception. Owner-occupants doing their own home renovation work are exempt from this rule. This exemption does not apply when the residence is going to be demolished. Previous rules exempted residential renovation projects from the asbestos survey requirement that applied to commercial projects and residential demolition projects. However, residential property owners and contractors were still required to follow asbestos abatement requirements for licensing, certification, notification, handling, packaging and disposing of asbestos. Requiring an asbestos survey for residential renovation projects ensures property owners and contractors know whether or not materials planned for renovation contain asbestos. This requirement reduces the risk that homeowners, contractors, neighbors and disposal site workers could be inadvertently exposed or sites contaminated with asbestos.
2: Updated disposal requirements for nonfriable materials
Nonfriable asbestos waste must now be packaged the same as friable waste. Friable materials are those that can be easily crumbled and release asbestos fibers. Nonfriable materials can become friable if improperly handled, increasing the risk of exposure to asbestos fibers. Applying the same packaging standard for nonfriable and friable materials streamlines the packaging requirements
for all asbestos waste and ensures a safer work environment for employees, residents, neighbors and disposal facility workers.
3: Accredited laboratories for asbestos testing
Laboratories analyzing bulk asbestos samples must participate in a nationally recognized accreditation or testing program by January 1, 2021. This new requirement establishes a common level of competency and reliability in analysis to properly identify asbestos content. DEQ will maintain a public list of accredited laboratories on its website.
4: Asbestos survey reports
Asbestos survey reports submitted to DEQ must now meet standard requirements. This requirement ensures survey reports include all required information. Learn more about asbestos survey requirements at: https://www.oregon.gov/deq/Hazards-andCleanup/Pages/Asbestos-Information.aspx
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