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Environmental Health and Safety

Procedure for handling asbestos

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) have issued rules and regulations concerning the handling of, or working with, asbestos. Those rules and regulations are summarized below and Kansas State University personnel will comply with the rules. Only employees certified by EPA as asbestos workers may perform maintenance related work. Work with friable and non-friable asbestos materials are regulated by this policy. Nonfriable asbestos is not regulated by the State and therefore federal asbestos rules apply to such building materials. These materials include vinyl tile, mastic, transite, and any other asbestos material that does not crumble with hand pressure. However, the workers and the public must be adequately protected during all removal procedures.

Any building owned by Kansas State University must be properly inspected for the presence of friable and nonfriable asbestos prior to demolition or renovation of the building. Building includes any institutional, commercial, public, industrial, residential or farm structure. Contact Facilities Planning or Environmental Health and Safety for assistance.

Specific requirements for major projects (greater than 25 linear or 10 square feet) or maintenance projects (25 or less linear or 10 square feet) including guidelines for worker protection are published by Environmental Health and Safety.

The guidelines for worker protection include the requirements for an annual physical health exam, proper use and maintenance of respirators, appropriate clothing, use of HEPA vacuum, glovebags, proper signage and proper disposal methods.

Safe work practices must be followed in any job requiring the handling of nonfriable asbestos. To protect the public, limit access to only essential personnel. Each nonfriable asbestos job must be handled as a case-by-case situation and must therefore have approval of Environmental Health and Safety prior to the start of the job. More stringent worker practices in the situation of "about to become friable" material or more restricted access to the public may be required. All workers on the project must attend an annual 8 hour refresher training session on asbestos safety.

After the completion of most projects larger than maintenance jobs, the work area will be considered clean only if the clearance air samples have a fiber concentration of less than 0.01 fibers/cc or none detected (ND). If the clearance sample is greater than 0.009 fibers/cc, the work area must be re-cleaned or additional air samples taken, whichever Environmental Health and Safety deems necessary.