Asbestos and Demolition
Asbestos is a generic name for the fibrous variety of six naturally occurring minerals that have been used in commercial products. It is made up of long, thin, fiber bundles that are flexible and easily separated. The name “asbestos” is not a mineralogical definition, it is a commercial designation for mineral products that can be woven and have high tensile strength, flexibility, resistance to chemical and thermal degradation, and high electrical resistance. Until recent years, asbestos was commonly used as a component of insulation, shingles, floor tiles, and other parts of the home. For more information, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/asbestos.html
The removal of asbestos-containing materials from buildings is regulated by the Federal Occupational and Health Administration (OSHA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency (WNCRAQA).
WNCRAQA must be notified of plans to demolish or remodel any building in Buncombe county no matter the age, including residential, commercial, industrial or public buildings; or plans to remove any asbestos-containing material. These buildings must be surveyed by accredited asbestos inspectors prior to beginning any demolition or removal activities, to determine the amount of asbestos present and the applicable rules.
If asbestos is present, a permit must be obtained from WNCRAQA before any asbestos-containing materials are removed from a building. All asbestos-containing materials must be removed before a building may be demolished.
Demolition or removal must be handled so that asbestos fibers are not released into the air. Asbestos-containing materials must be kept wet. Materials that can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry, (friable), must be removed by asbestos-accredited professionals prior to demolition. Asbestos cement board, or transite siding, must be removed prior to demolition.
Please call (828) 250-6777 if you have any further questions or need additional information on removal of asbestos-containing materials.