Asbestos is a mineral used in thousands of products since the 19th century. Since the 1930s it has been recognized as the cause of many medical complications, including lung cancer after varying latent periods from initial exposure. [See EPA for extensive information on asbestos (right click on link to open in New Window)] Asbestos exposure to children in schools was of enough concern to Congress that in the 1980s they passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) that set up the formal program of EPA oversight of the asbestos industry from school inspection through management to remediation that went into effect in 1980 and still governs Federal and State programs. The AHERA guidance is routinely applied to residential and commercial inspection and remediation situations. NES provides accredited asbestos services to its clients as described below.
Recently there has been concern about vermiculite as a potential source of asbestos exposure related to it use as an attic insulation. This concern comes from EPA’s finding that the vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana was contaminated with asbestos in the same mineral veins. The Libby vermiculite was shipped across the country to various plants for “roasting” that explodes the structure into the fluffy material used as insulation (as well as a soil conditioner…). There are factors that complicate a homeowner’s response to vermiculite that is explained very well by EPA (right click on link to open in New Window) use the Search box to go to the focused VERMICULITE material. For example, to properly determine the asbestos level in the insulation one needs a two liter sample and then go through an expensive 5-step process to ensure it is not present even at low levels, much lower that the usual analysis for asbestos in flooring, drywall, pipe wrap, etc. NES has advised clients on these issues for years and follows the EPA’s suggestion to “leave it in place” for attics that are not being remodeled.
HOWEVER there is the possibility to obtain some financial assistance in removing vermiculite insulation from a house. The details are found at http://www.zonoliteatticinsulation.com/.
The claimant/homeowner needs to follow the detailed guidance from this website. Documentation is required to show that the material is vermiculite. The simplest way is to follow the website instructions and send a sample to the Trust so that they can determine IF the material came from the Libby mine originally and then is eligible for some cost reimbursement. The Trust does not determine IF there is asbestos in the sample you send in, just its origin.
NES’s asbestos services
Dr. Vaughan has been an EPA AHERA (Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act) Asbestos Inspector since 1988, renewing his credentials annually through the required annual EPA refresher courses. (See his current certificate under Dr. Vaughan’s Credentials. – (right click on link to open in New Window)) Since 1998 he has been credentialed by the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety as an Asbestos Inspector (#040812).
Alex MacLellan completed his EPA AHERA Asbestos Inspector training in February 2017 with the highest score in his class. Prior to that he had participated in several asbestos inspections since 2015 for remodeling or demolition projects, documenting the presence/absence of asbestos in building materials. He combined his experience with his AHERA certificate to be accepted as an accredited Massachusetts Asbestos Inspector – AI900736. (See his current certificate under http://Alex Maclellan’s Credentials – (right click on link to open in New Window))
With their professional asbestos credentials, NES‘s staff offers extensive asbestos services:
- Inspections of residences and commercial facilities for the presence of asbestos-containing building materials (ACBMs). These inspections may be pre-purchase inspections or pre-demolition/pre-remodeling inspections required for building permits in many Massachusetts’ towns. These inspections are essential in the department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) effort to ensure that ACBMs are NOT transferred to construction and demolition (C&D) landfills which are not regulated as tightly as asbestos landfills.
- Sampling and analysis of materials that are suspected of being ACBMs send samples off to an EPA and Massachusetts-accredited laboratory. [NES even assists clients who gather and document their own samples by sending them off to that same lab and reporting findings to the client – residential or commercial.]
- Reporting the results of inspections of site inspections, results from analysis of samples and also completing in clear reports supported by photographic documentation. NES also can assist clients in preparing and filing of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Form BWP AQ-06 pre-demolition form in support of building permit applications.
- Discussion of various asbestos issues, including vermiculite.
© 2017 – Nauset Environmental Services, Inc.