Because of it's remarkable heat and fire resistance properties, paired with incredible durability, asbestos was used almost exclusively in shipbuilding in the U.S. during the 1940s for fireproofing and as an insulator. In the years following, the fiber found its way into more than 3,000 consumer and industrial products from automotive parts to building materials and is still used today.
Unfortunately, the very elements that contribute to asbestos being such a good building material are also why it is so deadly. Once disturbed or separated, the thin, flexible asbestos fibers break easily, turning into microscopic dust particles. These fibers can become airborne and continue to linger in the air for hours, even days. They can also attach to nearby objects, including clothing and work tools. If these fibers are inhaled or injested, the result can be a serious health problem, such as asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, as well as other cancers.
Today, asbestos exposure continues to be a very real risk, and it is important to note that while countries like the United States have placed heavy regulations on its use, it is still present and continues to be used. Thousands of products and buildings contain asbestos. Any number of people working in an array of fields continue to be put at risk of asbestos exposure.
You cannot tell when you are breathing asbestos!
Asbestos has no warning properties to let you know it is in the air. You cannot see it, feel it or taste it, but you do breathe it and swallow it. Asbestos won't make you cough or sneeze, and will not make your skin or throat itch.
There is no amount of asbestos that is safe.
Iowa Lead & Asbestos Safety offers training in multiple locations across Iowa every month. By bringing the training closer to you there is less travel time to get to your class, and less expense getting there. We don’t want you or your employees to have to drive hours to get to a training class, and we really don’t want you to have the extra expense of a hotel room because of it. Have a group? We also offer on-site training at your location for no additional charge!
Training That Makes Sense
Because our instructors are also contractors, they know what you can expect on an asbestos project so you’ll get more than just someone reading to you from a book. They’ll share their experience and help you make sense of what you’re learning and how it applies to your profession. They can specifically answer your questions too because they’ve actually done the work they’re training you for.
When you’re training is over, you can call us with questions — 7 days a week, 7am until 7pm. If you happen to get voicemail when you call, we really will call you back.
We provide state-wide residential and commercial inspections, surveys, sampling, management, refurbishment and demolition inspections. We also provide air sampling before, during and after your project.
This is where you can find notification and reporting documents, links to federal and state asbestos regulations, licensing and additional useful websites.
Who Regulates Asbestos In Iowa?
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources protects the outside air from asbestos contamination under the Clean Air Act. Indoor air and worker protection is regulated by OSHA. The Iowa Division of Labor administers Iowa’s asbestos licensing and asbestos permitting programs.
Who is Subject To Asbestos Regulations?
Facilities are subject. Facilities are any institutional, commercial, public or industrial installations or buildings, including ships and active or inactive waste disposal sites.
Also subject are residential buildings demolished or renovated as part of a commercial, public, industrial or institutional project.
A few examples include demolishing residential houses for construction of roads, parking lots, apartments, commercial buildings or the demolishing of flood dam- aged homes as a FEMA project. However, residential buildings with four or fewer dwelling units demolished for purposes other than commercial, public, industrial or institutional are exempt. For example, a family demolishing their own house to rebuild or remodel is exempt.
In addition, facilities previously subject to the asbestos NESHAP are not excluded, regardless of current use, ownership, or function.
When do the Regulations Apply?
Asbestos containing materials are dangerous only if damaged or disturbed. To protect human health regulations often apply before renovation and demolition projects begin. Asbestos regulations are designed to prevent significant public exposure to airborne asbestos during renovation or demolition work.
When is an asbestos inspection required?
Before renovation or demolition, a thorough asbestos inspection is required. Small renovation projects well below the thresholds do not require inspection. Inspections may be facility-wide or only for areas where renovation or demolition work occurs. All renovations and demolitions are subject to the regulation insofar as the owners and operators must determine if and how much asbestos is present at the site.
What is the 10 day notification?
Upon postdate of submitted renovation or demolition notification forms, ten working days must pass before any disturbance of asbestos containing material takes place. This allows DNR inspectors time to ensure initial asbestos testing by contractors was thorough.
How is Asbestos Removed?
Before demolition or renovation occurs, asbestos containing materials must be removed. By regulation, an on site supervisor or foreman trained in NESHAP regulations and capable with the means to comply with them must be present. Strict regulations are designed to prevent and contain microscopic asbestos fiber release during removal. The material must be adequately wet to prevent dust, contained in an airtight, sealed area and disposed of following strict guidelines. Upon completion, the contractor must take air samples to determine if the inside air is clean before opening the contained area. Once open, building owners can check the area with a flashlight. If any dust or debris is present — even asbestos matter the size of sand grains or visible dust — a work practice violation can occur.
Safety Through Compliance — What about Fines?
If a DNR or OSHA inspector finds workplace violations, penalties can follow. Regulations view both the facility owner and contractor accountable. Work practice violations are generally most serious as asbestos emissions can occur. Remember asbestos can kill and regulations are designed to protect all Iowans from exposure.