SECTION B12: ASBESTOS IN UNIVERSITY BUILDINGS
Asbestos is a generic term used to describe any of six naturally occurring
fibrous minerals. Because of several desirable characteristics, asbestos
was incorporated into a number of widely used products, (See
list of products that may contain asbestos) many of which were used
in building construction beginning in the late 1800’s. By the
mid 1980’s most products containing asbestos had been removed
from the market. When left intact and undisturbed, these materials do
not pose a health risk to building occupants.
There is potential for exposure only when the material becomes damaged
(e.g., torn or missing pipe insulation coverings) If powdered or friable
forms of asbestos are disturbed, fibers may become airborne resulting
in a possible inhalation hazard. In nonfriable asbestos products (e.g.,
floor tiles, roofing materials, etc.) the fibers are bound in a matrix
which prevents their release to the air unless the material is cut or
abraded. Therefore, these materials present even less of an exposure
In many cases it is not possible to readily distinguish between asbestos
and non-asbestos forms of the same product (e.g., pipe insulation,
fireproofing, etc.). In general, laboratory analysis is required to
confirm whether or not a material contains asbestos.
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Damaged asbestos-containing material should be reported to Facilities
Maintenance or Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). EHS is available
to assist in determining whether a suspect material contains asbestos
and to perform hazard assessments.
Prior to building maintenance or renovation projects, the Project
Manager is responsible for arranging for a survey to determine if asbestos-containing
building material is present in the work area and if so, whether it
will be impacted by the planned work. When appropriate, asbestos
abatement is performed before the project proceeds.
Asbestos abatement in educational facilities (including Princeton
University) is highly regulated by the New Jersey Departments of Community
Affairs and Environmental
Protection. The requirements include submission and approval of
an asbestos abatement design, use of a state-licensed firm to perform
the abatement, air monitoring at the perimeter of the abatement area
during removal, and inspection and clearance testing of the abated area
prior to reoccupancy. If you have any questions concerning asbestos,
contact EHS at 258-5294.
Asbestos Awareness training is provided to Maintenance and Building
Services employees and is available to others on request.
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For More Information
Contact EHS at 258-5294
See the Asbestos Awareness Fact Sheet
The following information is available from Facilities Maintenance:
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