Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Asbestos O & M Program


Abatement - Work that involves the physical removal of asbestos. Work must be performed by trained personnel under the supervision of a competent person as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Accredited - Individuals have successfully completed a training program approved by the Virginia Board for Asbestos, Lead, and Home Inspectors to engage in asbestos abatement.

ACM (Asbestos-containing Material) - Any material containing more than 1.0% asbestos by area as determined using Polarized Light Microscopy. Examples include: TSI and surfacing mateirals in buildings constructed not later than 1980, asphalt and vinyl flooring material installed no later than 1980, any other materials the building owner has knowledge of, or should have known it to be, asbestos-containing.

Activity - Per 16VAC25-20, from the setup of negative air containment through the breakdown of that containment. Work within a single structure or building shall be considered as one "activity" so long as such work is not interrupted except for weekends, holidays, or delays due to inclement weather. Where containment is not required, all work within a single structure or building shall be considered as one "activity".

Aggressive Final Clearance Air Sampling - The act of aggressively agitating the air in an asbestos removal area using fans and/or a leaf blower while final clearance air samples are being taken.

Air Plenum - Any space used to convey air in a building or structure. The space above a suspended ceiling is often used as a plenum.

Amended Water - Water that has been mixed (amended) with a chemical wetting agent, or surfactant, to improve penetration and wetting ability.

Asbestos - A generic name given to a number of naturally occurring minerals that possess a unique crystalline structure and are separable into fibers. Asbestos includes the asbestiform varieties of chrysotile, crocidolite and amosite.

Asbestos Project - An activity involving job set-up for containment, removal, enclosure, encasement, renovation, repair, demolition, construction or alteration of an asbestos-containing material.

Asbestos Project Supervisor - A person with the training and experience required by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations (DPOR) for licensing as an Asbestos Supervisor, and who meets the qualifications of "competent person" as established by 40 CFR 761. An asbestos project supervisor must be present on all asbestos projects which involve the removal of friable ACM.

CFR - Code of Federal Regulations

Class I Asbestos Work - Activities involving the removal of TSI and surfacing ACM and PACM.

Class II Asbestos Work - Activities involving the removal of ACM which is not TSI or surfacing material, including but not limited to, the removal of ACM wallboard, floor tile and sheeting, roofing and siding shingles, and construction mastics.

Class III Asbestos Work - Repair and maintenance operations where ACM is likely to be disturbed.

Class IV Asbestos Work - Maintenance and custodial activities during which employees contact ACM and PACM, and activities to clean up waste and debris containing ACM and PACM.

Control Measure - A measure used to control the generation of airborne asbestos fibers until a permanent solution can be implemented. These measures include encapsulation, repair, encasement and enclosure.

Delamination - Physical separation of one layer from another.

Demolition - Wrecking or taking out of any load supporting structural member and any related removing or stripping of friable asbestos material.

Disturbance - Activities that disrupt the matrix of ACM or PACM, crumble or pulverize ACM or PACM, or generate visible debris from ACM or PACM. Disturbance includes cutting away small amounts of ACM and PACM, no greater than the amount which can be contained in one standard sized glove bag or waste bag in order to access a building component. In the event the amount of ACM or PACM disturbed exceeds that which can be contained in one glove/waste bag, it shall not exceed 60 inches in lenght and width.

DOLI - Department of Labor and Industry.

DOPR - Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

Employee Exposure - that exposure to airborne asbestos that would occur if the employee were not using respiratory protective equipment.

Encapsulation - The application of a sealant over the surface of the asbestos-containing material to prevent the release of asbestos fibers.

Enclosure - The construction or installation over or around the ACM of any solid or flexible covering, which will not deteriorate or decompose for a period of time, so as to conceal the ACM, contain ACM fibers, and render the ACM inaccessible.

EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

Excursion Limit - The employer shall ensure that no employee is exposed to an airborne asbestos fiber concentration in excess of 1.0 f/cc of air as averaged over a sampling period of thirty (30) minutes. The concentration of 1.0 f/cc is defined as the excursion limit for asbestos.

Facility - NESHAPS defines it as "any institutional, commercial, public, industrial, or residential structure, installation, or building (including any structure, installation, or building containing condominiums or individual dwelling units operated as a residential cooperative, but excluding residential buildings having four or fewer dwelling units); any ship; and any active or inactive waste disposal site. For purposes of this definition, any building, structure, or installation that contains a loft used as a dwelling is not considered a residential structure, installation, or building."

Fiber Release Episode - The unintentional disturbance of ACM resulting either from accidental contact or that is a result of other factors, such as pipe leaks or roof leaks, where the ACM has been physically dislodged and the potential for asbestos fibers to have become airborne as a result of this disturbance is high.

Friable - Material which is capable of being crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry, or which under normal use or maintenance emits or can be expected to emit fibers into the air.

Glovebag - A polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride bag-like enclosure affixed around an asbestos-containing source (most often thermal system insulation) so that the material may be removed while minimizing release of airborne fibers to the surrounding atmosphere.

HEPA - High Efficiency Particulate Air filtered equipment must be capable of trapping and retaining 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns.

Homogenous - Materials of the same age, physical appearance, texture and color, used for a similar application. A separate homogenous sampling area shall be defined for each type of homogenous material on each floor of a building.

Industrial Hygienist - A professional qualified by education, training and experience to recognize, evaluate, and develop control measures for occupational health hazards.

Intact - The ACM has not crumbled, been pulverized, or otherwise deteriorated so that asbestos is no longer likely to be bound to its matrix.

Licensed - An authorization issued by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) permitting a person to enter into contracts to perform an asbestos abatement project.

Medical Surveillance - A periodic comprehensive review of a worker's health status.

Miscellaneous ACM - Interior ACM that is not surfacing or thermal system insulation, such as some floor tile, ceiling tile, wire insulation, asbestos cement products and so forth.

NESHAP - National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants - EPA Rules under the Clean Air Act, 40 CFR Subpart M, Part 61.

NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Primary functions are to conduct research, issue technical information, and test and certify respirators.

Non-friable - Cannot be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry.

Operations & Maintenance Program - Specific procedures and practices developed for the interim control of asbestos-containing materials in buildings until it is removed.

OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administration, administered in Virginia by the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI).

PACM (Presumed Asbestos Containing Material) - TSI and surfacing material found in buildings constructed no later than 1980. The designation of a PACM may be rebutted in accordance with 1926.1001(k)(5).

PEL (Permissible Exposure Limit) - The highest allowable level of exposure to airborne asbestos fibers that an employee may have, without using respiratory protection, as stated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The employer shall ensure that no employee is exposed to an airborne asbestos fiber concentration in excess of 0.1 f/cc of air as averaged over an eight hour period (i.e. time-weighted average). The concentration of 0.1 f/cc is defined as the PEL/TWA for asbestos.

Personal Air Samples - An air sample taken with a sampling pump directly attached to the worker with the collecting filter and cassette placed in the worker's breathing zone. These samples are required by the OSHA asbestos standards and the EPA Worker Protection Rule.

Personal Protective Equipment - Any material or device worn to protect a worker from exposure to, or contact with, any harmful material or force. PPE should be used only if engineering or administrative controls are insufficient to protect against a hazard.

RACM (Regulated Asbestos Containing Material) - a term specific to NESHAPS where ACM is friable, had become friable, will be (or has been) subjected to sanding, grinding, cutting, or abrading, or has a high probability of becoming friable.

Regulated Area - An area established by the employer to demarcate areas where Class I, II, and III asbestos work is conducted, and any adjoining area where debris and waste from such asbestos work accumulate; and a work area within which airborne concentrations of asbestos exceed, or there is a reasonable possibility they may exceed, the permissible exposure limit (PEL). The regulated area shall be demarcated in any manner that minimizes the number of persons within the area and protects persons outside the area from exposure to airborne asbestos. Critical barriers or negative pressure enclosures may demarcate the regulated area per 29 CFR 1926.1101(e)(2).

Renovation - Altering, in any way, one or more facility components.

Repair - Returning damaged ACM to an undamaged condition or to an intact state so as to prevent fiber release.

Respiratory Protection - A device worn to either purify the air, or that provides clean air from another source to the wearer. All respirator users must be enrolled in Virginia Tech's Respiratory Protection Program, and must have received appropriate training on respirator use, care, and maintenance.

Response Action - Repair of damage or deterioration to asbestos materials, or the removal of asbestos or asbestos debris, undertaken to alleviate a hazard to building occupants.

Small-scale, Short-duration Asbestos Projects - Small-scale, short-duration (SS/SD) renovation and maintenance activities include, but are not limited to: removal of ACM from pipes; replacement of an ACM gasket on a valve; installation or removal of small sections of drywall; installation or electrical conduit proximate to, or through, ACM; or the removal of small sections of ceiling tile, friable (e.g. damaged) flooring, or unbonded ACM flooring where the work is non-repetitive, and can be completed within an eight (8) hour work shift. The purpose of SS/SD projects is maintenance, repair or renovation where the removal of ACM is not the primary goal of the job.

Surfacing ACM - ACM sprayed or troweled on surfaces, such as some acoustical plasters, hard wall or ceiling plasters, and fire-proofing.

TSI - Thermal System Insulation - ACM applied to pipes, fittings, boilers, breaching, tanks, ducts or other structural components to prevent heat loss or gain or water condensation.

TWA - Time-Weighted Average - In air sampling, this refers to the average air concentration of contaminants during a particular sampling period (typically 8 hours).