Asbestos Comprehensive Assessment Guide

California Asbestos Assessment and Demolition Safety Guide

Disclaimer: SoCal Removal and its owner, Andre Abajian, do not conduct asbestos surveys but are committed to assisting in the safe removal of hazardous substances throughout California. Asbestos fibers are recognized carcinogens, acknowledged by the Air Quality Management District, EPA, and various State of California governing bodies. Inhalation of microscopic asbestos fibers can lead to lung diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. The precautions in this guide serve as a general overview, but it is imperative to stay informed about evolving rules and regulations.

Importance of Asbestos Surveys in Demolition Projects

Demolition contractor SoCal Removal emphasizes the necessity of conducting comprehensive Asbestos-Containing Material (ACM) surveys and assessments, aligning with the ASTM E2356 Standard Practice. This standard meets the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) Standard 40 CFR 61, Subpart M (Asbestos), EPA Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) Standard 40 CFR 763, Subpart E, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) asbestos survey and sampling regulations.

Survey Process and Sampling Procedures

State-licensed Asbestos Consultants undertake the collection of bulk asbestos samples. Carefully sealed containers with unique identification numbers are used for each sample, documenting location, quantity, and condition on field sampling forms. To prevent cross-contamination, sampling equipment is meticulously cleaned between samples. Before sampling, a preliminary inspection is conducted to visually identify and quantify suspect ACMs. These are then categorized into “homogeneous areas” for a strategic and representative sampling approach.

Definition of Asbestos-Containing Material (ACM) and Asbestos-Containing Construction Material (ACCM)
An Asbestos-Containing Material is a commercial asbestos product containing more than 1% asbestos and must be disposed of as hazardous waste. Both Federal OSHA and Cal-OSHA regulate materials containing any amount of asbestos. In California, an Asbestos-Containing Construction Material (ACCM) is a term for a manufactured construction material containing greater than 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent) of asbestos.

Regulatory Oversight and Jurisdiction
The South Coast Air Quality Management District oversees jurisdiction in the Counties of Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside.
Laboratory Testing and Analysis
Upon completion of the survey, chain-of-custody forms are meticulously filled out. Samples are sent, under chain of custody manifest, to accredited laboratory testing facilities such as LA Testing and Test America. Analysis is conducted using polarized light microscopy (PLM) in accordance with the U.S. EPA’s “Method of Determination of Asbestos in Bulk Samples,” EPA/600/R-93/116. The laboratory used during projects should hold accreditation from the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) for asbestos analysis and/or the California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP).

This comprehensive approach ensures adherence to the highest standards in asbestos assessment and guarantees the safety of workers, the public, and the environment during demolition projects in Southern California. Always consult with certified safety and health professionals for a thorough evaluation of hazards and risks associated with asbestos.

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