Asbestos is the common name for a group of naturally occurring minerals, which are resistant to heat and chemicals. Asbestos minerals are particularly useful as acoustical materials, insulating, fireproofing and strengthening additives for construction materials. The unique characteristics of asbestos have resulted in a very diverse use of the material over the years.
Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) is known to be present and/or was formerly present in many of UAA buildings built prior to 1979. In addition, ACM is suspected to be present in buildings built into the 1990s. UAA's approach is to treat every building as if it has asbestos. As such, only employees approved by EHS are authorized to work with ACM within the course and scope of their employment.
Occupants may hang only pictures or other wall ornaments with hangers that are less that ¼” in diameter. All improvements, alterations, modifications, or repairs to UAA buildings must be conducted by UAA Facilities. Occupants must notify the Facilities Maintenance (786-6980) immediately where there exists a hole larger than ¼” diameter, evidence of a water leak, and/or any appearance of crumbling or peeling in the wallboard or ceilings.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that the presence of asbestos materials does not pose a health risk to residents and that such materials are safe as long as they are not disturbed or dislodged in a manner that causes the asbestos fibers to be released. Sanding, scraping, pounding, and other remodeling techniques that release dust may cause asbestos particle to be become airborne.
EPA does not require that the material be removed unless demolition or renovation activities will impact ACM or if it is significantly damaged. Laws require that reasonable precautions are taken to minimize the chance of damage or disturbance of asbestos containing materials.