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, employers and consumers are governed by a variety or federal, state, and local regulations which influence the way they must deal with asbestos in their facilities. Some of these regulations, particularly at the state and local level, may change frequently. Building owners, employers and consumers are advised to contact a State Certified Asbestos Consultant as well as State, Federal and local authorities for updated information. Here are a few of the promulgated regulations.

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 ยง1529-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.