Asbestos is a generic term referring to the unusual crystallization of a group made up of inorganic chemicals which are long, extremely strong, heat and chemical resistant fibers. These minerals are all hydrated silicates that, when crushed or processed, separate into flexible fibers. These features of the mineral, its fibrous nature, resistance to deterioration, and great tensile strength are what makes asbestos so desirable and paradoxically, so dangerous.
Home buyers: An asbestos investigation is recommended in your standard escrow instructions. This investigation legally should be performed by a certified asbestos consultant.
Homeowners: No one is more qualified or knowledgeable than a certified asbestos consultant for determining if your home is safe from asbestos.
Contractors: Current law requires that any material being disturbed during a renovation or demolition must be tested for asbestos by a certified asbestos consultant.
Employers: California law requires that warnings be given where hazardous materials may present a significant risk, as defined by Proposition 65. This requires employers to determine these hazards including asbestos.
Rules and Regulations:
In the last decade, asbestos rules and regulations have expanded with an increase in knowledge of the effects of asbestos and with the growth of environmental regulations in general. Building owners,
OSHA: 29 CFR 1926.58-Construction Industry Standard for Asbestos
OSHA: 29 CFR 1910.1001-General Industry Standard for Asbestos
OSHA: 29 CFR 1910.134-Respiratory Protection Standard
EPA: 40 CFR 763 Subpart G-Worker Protection Rule
EPA: 40 CFR 763 Subpart E-National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS)
EPA: 40 CFR 763 Subpart I-Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)
EPA: 40 CFR 61 Subpart M-Asbestos Ban and Phase-out Rule
SCAQMD: Rule 1403-Asbestos Rule for Demolition and Renovation Activities (LA, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernadino Counties)
8 CCR §1529-California worker protection standards for asbestos
Proposition 65-California warning requirements for hazards in buildings
Suffice it to say that any asbestos accessible to the public carries with it some form of regulatory or legal obligation.