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INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
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Asbestos is permitted in certain current product: this article provides an adaptation of an EPA clarification regarding banned asbestos materials that was issued in 1999. Here you can read just what products are currently permitted or not permitted to contain asbestos.
The EPA clarification explains that asbestos is permitted in some products at levels over 1% where the fibers are encapsulated. The clarification lists examples of products in which asbestos is permitted and also lists examples of products in which the complete ban on use of asbestos remains in effect.
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This website provides photographs and descriptive text of asbestos insulation and other asbestos-containing products to permit identification of definite, probable, or possible asbestos materials in buildings.
[Click to enlarge any image]
Our page top photograph is of an obsolete ceiling tile which may contain asbestos in a form not permitted by current regulations.
Photo at left: Tremolite asbestos ceiling insulation panels.
This article reports the US EPA 1999 Asbestos Material Bans Clarification and the 2003 Asbestos Ban clarification issued by the EPA. In the U.S. the U.S. EPA regulates the production of asbestos-containing products such that beginning in 1989 six forms of asbestos continued in use. They are described here.
A copy of the previous, now obsolete US EPA 1989 Asbestos Bans is EPA ACM Ban 1989-Obsolete and the clarification (reproduced entirely just below) is also available a
* Note that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also developed bans on use of asbestos in certain consumer products such as textured paint, wall patching compounds. For more detailed information, contact the CPSC Hotline, at 1-800-638-2772.
II. CLEAN AIR ACT (CAA) Authority:
EPA Asbestos NESHAP BANS ON USAGE OF CERTAIN ACM (In Facilities Regulated by the NESHAP Rule, Nov. 1990 Revision; 40 CFR 60, Subpart M)
A. Most spray-applied Surfacing ACM: *
* The Nov. 1990 revised asbestos NESHAP prohibits spray-on application of materials containing more than 1% asbestos to buildings, structures, pipes, and conduits unless the material is encapsulated with a bituminous or resinous binder during spraying and the materials are not friable after drying.
* The revised NESHAP still allows, on equipment and machinery, spray-on application of materials that contain more than 1% asbestos where the asbestos fibers in the materials are encapsulated with a bituminous or resinous binder during spraying and the materials are not friable after drying; or for friable materials, where either no visible emissions are discharged to the outside air from spray-on application, or specified methods are used to clean emissions containing particulate asbestos material before they escape to, or are vented to, the outside air.
B. Thermal System Insulation:
- 1975 NESHAP, banned installation of wet-applied and pre-formed (molded) asbestos
- 1975 NESHAP, banned installation of pre-formed (molded) asbestos block insulation
C. Is there a NESHAP ban on troweled-on Surfacing ACM? No; that particular application was not banned by the most recent NESHAP revision, which was November 1990
III. TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT (TSCA) Authority:
A. July 1989 EPA rule commonly known as the "Asbestos Ban and Phase out Rule" (40 CFR 763 Subpart I, Sec. 762.160 - 763.179)
NOTE: Much of the original rule was vacated and remanded by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991. Thus, the original 1989 EPA ban on the U.S. manufacture, importation, processing, or distribution in commerce of many asbestos-containing product categories was set aside and did not remain in effect.
B. Federal Register, Nov. 5, 1993 (58 FR 58964), Factual determinations: "Continuing restrictions on certain asbestos-containing products."
In this FR notice, EPA stated its position regarding the status of its ban on various asbestos containing product categories. The status is briefly summarized below:
Asbestos-containing Products still banned - Six asbestos-containing product categories that are still subject to the asbestos ban include:
Asbestos-containing product categories no longer subject to the 1989 TSCA ban include:
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Questions & answers or comments about asbestos regulations, bans, & the recognition of health hazards from ACM exposure, world wide.
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Web Search 01/20/2011, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/ban.html - quoting:
Below are four relevant Federal Register notices [ concerning asbestos manufacture, use, and bans in the U.S.] :