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Asbestos Management
AsbestosGeneral Information
Asbestos is a mineral fiber which comes from a group of naturally occurring minerals. There are six kinds of asbestos minerals. The three most common types are chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite. Asbestos fibers are incombustible; as a result, asbestos has been mined and widely used throughout history to add strength, heat insulation and fire resistance to thousands of products. However, there are health risks when asbestos fibers are released into the air and inhaled into the lungs. Comprehensive asbestos information is available through the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Asbestos Program and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Asbestos Containing Building Materials (ACBMs)
It is still possible to find asbestos in building products of newer buildings. The use of asbestos has only been partially banned by the United States government and asbestos can be added to building products or be present in imported building materials. ACBMs do not present a health risk unless the materials are disturbed making asbestos fibers airborne and available for inhalation into the lungs. It is impossible to visually tell if a material contains asbestos; building materials must be tested in a laboratory as the fibers are microscopic. The only building materials that do not require laboratory testing to verify if asbestos is present are glass, metal, and wood.

Materials containing asbestos come in two forms: friable and non-friable asbestos.

Comparison Chart
Friable Asbestos Non-Friable Asbestos
Any material containing more than 1% asbestos Any material containing more than 1% asbestos
That, when dry, can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure. That, when dry, cannot be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure. 
Includes materials such as:
  • Blown-in insulation
  • Pipe wrapping
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Sprayed on wall texture
  • Popcorn ceiling texture 
Includes Category I materials such as:
  • Gaskets
  • Packing
  • Resilient floor covering
  • Asphalt roofing products
Includes Category II materials such as:
  • Transite (concrete) shingle
  • Transite pipe
  • Any non-friable asbestos-containing material not defined as Category I
  • NOTE: Non-friable materials can be made friable by sanding, grinding, cutting or abrading
For Friable Asbestos disposal please contact:
Painted Desert Landfill Inc.
9001 N. Porter
Joseph City, AZ 86032
Ph: (928) 288-3605
Instructions for non-friable asbestos disposal at the Cinder Lake Landfill

Building Renovation or Demolition Compliance with Asbestos Regulations
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s Air Quality Division enforces the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) Program for asbestos. The purpose of the NESHAP Program is to protect public health from exposure to regulated asbestos-containing material (RACM) during NESHAP facility renovation/demolition activities, asbestos removal, transport and disposal, closely monitoring those activities for proper notification and asbestos emissions control. Asbestos is known to cause cancer and other respiratory diseases in humans. Visit ADEQ's site for complete information on the Asbestos NESHAP Program

The City of Flagstaff requires compliance with the asbestos NESHAP Program for non-residential work within city limits. Asbestos NESHAP compliance is required for demolition of a non-residential building. If non-residential renovation work exceeds threshold amounts defined in the asbestos NESHAP regulation or work involves removal of a load-bearing component of a building then asbestos NESHAP compliance is also required. Compliance requires obtaining an asbestos survey of the building materials to be disturbed or removed unless there is existing asbestos survey data that is accepted.

If asbestos NESHAP notification applies to a project 10 working day (Monday through Friday) advance notification is required to the ADEQ Air Quality Division. A copy also needs the be sent to the City of Flagstaff as listed on the Coconino County NESHAP form found at the ADEQ website.

Health Effects of Asbestos Exposure
When ACBMs are not disturbed then asbestos is not a health hazard. However, when asbestos materials ARE disturbed it breaks into microscopic sharp fibers which are then released into the air and can be inhaled into the lungs. In comparison the average human hair is approximately 1,200 times thicker than an asbestos fiber. You cannot see, taste or feel asbestos fibers. Exposure to asbestos fibers does not produce coughing, sneezing, or itchiness due to the microscopic size of the fiber. The more you are exposed, the more likely you are to get an asbestos-related disease. The fibers can accumulate in your body and increase the risk of developing one of the following asbestos-related diseases: Lung cancer, Mesothelioma, and Asbestosis. The symptoms of asbestos-related diseases do not usually appear until about 10 – 40 years after being exposed to asbestos.

Lung cancer has the highest death rate of all asbestos diseases. Almost all of the cases of asbestos-related lung cancer occurred among people who smoked and were exposed to asbestos. In fact, smoking increases ones risk of developing lung cancer by 50 – 90% when exposed to asbestos verses people who do not smoke.

Mesothelioma affected lungsMesothelioma is a rare but deadly disease. There are two kinds of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, which is a cancer that attacks the two-layered pleural lining of the chest, and peritoneal mesothelioma, which is a cancer that attacks the lining of the abdomen. Mesothelioma is caused by high levels of exposure to asbestos and has the longest latency period, usually 30-40 years, before symptoms arise. Children are the exception to the long latency period rule. Because their bodies grow at a more rapid rate the latency period for a child is much shorter than that of an adult. If you have children in your home, all the more reason to take precautionary steps to handle ACBM with the help of licensed professionals prior to any home construction.

Asbestosis is the scarring of the lung, which weakens and destroys your lungs. It is not a cancer, but rather a progressive disease that keeps forming scars in your lungs. When you have asbestosis your heart has to work harder to get enough oxygenated blood to the rest of your body’s cells. Many people with asbestosis die from heart attacks or heart failure, due to their heart being over worked. Asbestosis is dose-related. The more asbestos you breathe, the more likely you are to get asbestosis and the more severe the disease will be.

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