a mineral fiber that has, in the past, been added to a variety of products to
strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance.
a proven carcinogen. Breathing high
levels of asbestos can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma
(cancer in the lining of the chest and abdominable cavity), and asbestosis
(lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue).
The risk of lung cancer is greatly increased if you smoke. Those who get
asbestosis have usually been exposed to high levels for a long period of
time. The symptoms of these diseases do
not usually appear until 20 to 30 years after the first exposure to
to the Maricopa County asbestos enforcement program,
NESHAP, it is usually best to leave asbestos that is in good condition alone.
Generally, material that is in good condition will not release asbestos
fibers. However, if removal is
necessary, determine the amount of asbestos
containing material. If the amount is 160
square feet, 260 linear feet, 35 cubic feet or more, it is regulated
asbestos and must be removed by a certified contractor. Take care to hire a professional asbestos
contractor who is trained in handling asbestos material. The federal government
has training courses for asbestos professionals around the country. Some state and local governments also have or
require training or certification courses. A list of professional contractors
is available from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality or the EPA
following link to learn the demolition guidelines as regulated by NESHAP, www.maricopa.gov.
asbestos containing material that is smaller than 160 square feet, 260 linear
feet, or 35 cubic feet, is not regulated by NESHAP. However, the EPA recommends hiring a
professional for all asbestos removal.
Visit www.epa.gov for
more information on asbestos removal and testing.
(National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants)
County Department of Environmental Quality regulates waste removal in
commercial building and multiple housing (apartments or when several single-family
dwellings are affected). Contact them at 602-506-0380 or visit them at www.maricopa.gov/envsvc