Asbestos

Asbestos

Introduction

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, very strong and heat resistant, which was made into nearly three thousand products ranging from pipe insulation to cement wallboard. Asbestos has been proven to cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis, and needs to be treated with respect and handled by professionals under controlled conditions.

Currently no state or federal laws require removal or repair of ACM except in schools, but it is most important to maintain asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in good condition to prevent serious health problems that result from breathing asbestos fibers. Some materials in good condition, like flooring and siding, can be left alone until they will be impacted by renovation or demolition activities or they can be covered over. Be careful to document the locations of covered ACM, because real estate laws require disclosure of all ACM at the time of sale.

Once a decision has been made to impact asbestos-containing materials (ACM), such as pipe insulation, boiler breeching, vinyl asbestos tile, transite (cement board), siding or roofing, in amounts greater than 3 linear or square feet, it must be removed or repaired by professionals unless specifically exempted from the DEP regulations. For example, floor tile in good condition may be removed by a non-licensed company using an infrared tile lift machine or a heat gun provided the tiles come up whole, and owner occupied single-family homeowners can remove their own asbestos siding following DEP guidelines. To see photos of asbestos, please visit our photo gallery.

Contacts

For more information contact the Asbestos Hazard Prevention Program staff at (207) 287-2651.

Laws

Title 38, Chapter 12-A: Asbestos §1271 - §1284

Rules

Chapter 425 - Asbestos Management Regulations, effective April 3, 2011

Asbestos in Schools (AHERA) Regulation and Information

OSHA Asbestos Regulations (Off Site)

Licensed Asbestos Businesses

Asbestos Abatement Contractors (pdf format)

Asbestos Consultants (pdf format)

Asbestos Laboratories (pdf format)

Asbestos and Lead Training Providers (In-State and Out-of-State)

Asbestos in Vermiculite and Zonolite Insulation

Additional Information

Asbestos in Vermiculite and Zonolite Insulation - Asbestos contamination in vermiculite and vermiculite products has become aconcern to many citizens throughout the country. Vermiculite contaminated with asbestos was used in the past as a poured-ininsulation in attics. On its web site, EPA has updated information about Vermiculite and its uses, factsheets, Question andAnswer documents, reports and links to EPA Regional vermiculite pages. EPA"s Current Best Practices for Vermiculite Attic Insulation.(Off-Site)

Asbestos Inspection Required Prior to Demolition and Renovation

Asbestos Siding Removals

Hiring an Asbestos Abatement Contractor

Information for Realtors

Code Enforcement Officers Information

Transportation and Disposal of Asbestos-Containing Materials

Transportation and disposal of ACM waste are regulated by the DEP as well.  Once a job is complete, the waste must be transported by a DEP-licensed "non-hazardous waste transporter" to a landfill approved to accept friable asbestos.  Intact non-friable asbestos waste, like roofing, cement pipe, siding, and flooring, which is removed whole can be disposed of at local landfills in accordance with the landfill's license requirements. 

Non-Hazardous Waste Transporters

If you have questions regarding enforcement of Asbestos Laws & Regulations, please contact (207) 287-7722 or (207) 287-2651.

Related Programs (Off Site)

American Academy of Pediatrics – Information on keeping you child safe from asbestos.

ATSDR Frequently Asked Health Questions about Asbestos (Off Site)

EPA-New England Asbestos Information

National Institutes of Health - More information on the health effects of asbestos.