Office Of Environmental Health And Safety

Asbestos Management

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral which forms long, thin fibers when crushed. These fibers have the potential to cause adverse health effects when inhaled or ingested. The characteristics of asbestos made it useful commercially and industrially. The mineral, which is still used in many products, is very strong, is a poor conductor of electricity and heat, is impervious to corrosive chemicals, and does not burn. Asbestos may be a component of materials such as ceiling tiles, floor tiles and mastic, fireproofing, sheetrock joint compound, plaster, and pipe insulation.

Warning labels that state, "Caution: Asbestos. Hazardous. Do Not Disturb Without Proper Training and Equipment." may be seen in areas of the University's buildings. The label indicates that asbestos-containing materials are suspected or have been identified in the material that is labeled. It should be noted that asbestos regulations allow labels to be placed immediately adjacent to the known or suspected asbestos containing materials. Individuals, including outside contractors, who perform jobs, i.e., pulling cables, conducting building repairs and/or renovations, etc., which disturb building materials or work in an area with suspected asbestos containing materials, should be made aware prior to work activities of the possibility of asbestos being present in the material(s).

 The University's Asbestos Management Plan can be referenced to determine where asbestos is suspected or has been identified in a building before work activities begin, or a sample of the suspect material can be collected by Environmental Health and Safety representative and analyzed to determine the asbestos content.
If you have questions regarding asbestos or a material that you suspect contains asbestos in your work environment, or you see a caution label indicating the presence of asbestos, do not disturb the material. Contact Environmental Health and Safety at 520-5439 for questions or information.

Office of Environmental Health and Safety