Post Content

ahera

There are always a lot of questions surrounding health hazards in schools when there are asbestos-containing building materials present.  Here are a few facts that the Department of Labor Standards shares with concerned building occupants:

  •  Yes, there is still asbestos in many schools across the country and in Massachusetts.  However, when managed appropriately, the risk to building occupants is minimized.
  •  In accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule, 40 CFR 763.80 through 763.99 (commonly referred to as AHERA, and implemented in 1987), schools have certain requirements. Such as:

 o   Designate a contact person.

o   Inspect and identify asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in their buildings.

o   Prepare management plans and take action to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards.

o   Train custodians and maintenance personnel.

o   Maintain records pertaining to inspections, periodic surveillance, training, notifications, etc.

o   Provide information of the location of ACM or presumed ACM to outside contractors who may come in contact with the material.

  • AHERA is designed to allow schools to maintain and manage their ACM in place. Removal of these materials is not usually necessary unless the material is severely damaged or will be disturbed by a building demolition or renovation project.
  • No, being in an environment with asbestos-containing materials does not mean you will automatically be exposed to health hazards associated with inhaling asbestos fibers.

o   Because of its unique properties, asbestos was widely used in a variety of materials – wallboard and joint compound, floor tiles, boiler and pipe insulation, fireproofing and surface coatings, to name a few.

o   Asbestos-containing materials do not pose a health hazard as long as the asbestos-containing materials are managed and maintained in good condition.

 The Department of Labor Standards has released new documents to support schools, designated persons, and consultants in their efforts to manage asbestos containing materials.  You can find them on our website at www.mass.gov/dols/AHERA

 

Written By:


Department of Labor Standards

Tags: , , ,

Recent Posts

Law Enforcement and Recreationalists: Be Aware of Lead Hazards at Shooting Ranges posted on Oct 24

Law Enforcement and Recreationalists: Be Aware of Lead Hazards at Shooting Ranges

Each year there are shooters, instructors, and maintenance staff that become sick from lead poisoning received at their firing range.

Lead Poisoning in Adults posted on Oct 22

Lead Poisoning in Adults

The Occupational Lead Poisoning Registry is dedicated to reducing the incidence and severity of lead poisoning among Massachusetts workers. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has shown that even at very low levels, such as 5 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dl), lead can cause significant health problems.

MA Regulation Requires Contractors to Work Lead-Safe by Preventing the Spread of Lead Dust During Renovation, Repair, and Painting Projects posted on Oct 17

MA Regulation Requires Contractors to Work Lead-Safe by Preventing the Spread of Lead Dust During Renovation, Repair, and Painting Projects

Homes and other structures built before 1978 may contain lead paint. Lead-contaminated dust can cause lead poisoning in children, pregnant women, contractors, and other workers, their families, and even pets.