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Asbestos Lab | Lab Services | Seattle Bellevue Kirkland Bothell Redmond

We provide the highest quality analytical results, specializing in asbestos fiber identification and a range of metals analysis using NIOSH, OSHA, and EPA methods. PNWIG provides quick turnaround times, after-hours service, concise and easily accessible reports, and easy-to-use online scheduling.

US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), NESHAP, and Local Clean Air Agencies require that prior to any renovation/demolition/maintenance activities, all building materials must be identified for any presence of asbestos-containing materials (ACM).

Our Lab Testing Service

  • PLM (Polarized Light Microscopy) US EPA 600/R-93/116 (LOD <1%)
  • PLM (Polarized Light Microscopy) US EPA 40 CFR Appendix E to Subpart E of Part 763 (LOD <1%)
  • EPA Point Count 400 Points (LOD 0.25%)
  • EPA Point Count 1000 Points (LOD 0.1%)
  • PLM GRAVIMETIC ANALYSIS US EPA 600/R-93/116 (LOD <1%)
  • PLM SEDIMENT ANALYSIS – EPA Superfund Site
  • Asbestos by XRD- EPA 600 Friable & Non-friable Bulk Qualitative
  • Asbestos by XRD- EPA 600 Friable & Non-friable Bulk Quantitative (LOD 0.1%)
  • EPA 600/R-04/004 – Weight% Asbestos in Vermiculite (LOD <1%)
  • PCM AIR- NIOSH 7400 (A-Rule)

Reporting

Typically, a written AHERA survey report will take two business days to complete following the onsite visit, the survey, and the sampling. However, the sample analysis and the report can be expedited without an additional fee! Just ask!

Asbestos Abatement Washington State

Asbestos Abatement

Asbestos abatement companies are not all the same. Some specialize only in asbestos abatement, while others offer environmental services, demolition services, and general contracting services that may include abatement. Within the U.S., asbestos abatement regulations vary from state to state and city to city, some extend beyond the federal laws that require Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) licensing. Homeowners are not legally required to use a licensed asbestos abatement company, but it is strongly recommended.

*Please verify all contractor's license credentials prior to hire.

Abatement companies in the Seattle, WA area:

Asbestos Abatement Process

Abatement begins with a PNWIG-certified asbestos inspector who takes samples of suspected asbestos. Samples are analyzed at a laboratory to determine the extent of the problem. Asbestos removal can be complex and includes several site preparations. Call 425.608.9553 for an Asbestos Survey prior to Abatement work.

 

Type of Asbestos Abatement Work Class I asbestos work: Activities involving the removal of asbestos used to prevent heat loss or gain, surfacing asbestos-containing materials, and those suspected of containing asbestos.

Class II asbestos work: Removal of nonthermal asbestos-containing materials such as wallboards, floor tiles and sheeting, roofing and siding shingles, and construction mastics.

Class III asbestos work: Repair and maintenance operations of any asbestos-containing materials that will likely be disturbed. This is the type most likely used for removing asbestos.

Pre-Asbestos Abatement Activities • Work Area Preparation • Establishing Decontamination Units • Using Personal Protection (Respirator and Protective Clothing) • Worker Decontamination Procedures • Safety Considerations in Abatement Area • Proper Handling & Disposal of Asbestos Waste

Asbestos Label Law for Building Materials

Did you know?

Effective January 1, 2014, manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors of asbestos-containing building materials must prominently label both the product and packaging for the following building materials:

  • Any building material naturally contains more than one percent asbestos.
  • Any building material that has any amount of asbestos added to it.

Where does the label need to be put?

Label the product:

  • In a prominent location near the product name or description on the exterior wrapping or packaging in which the product is stored, shipped, and sold.
  • On the exterior surface of the asbestos-containing building material itself, unless it is:
    • sold as a liquid or paste or
    • unless it is sand or gravel.

What must the label say?

At a minimum, the label must state:

CAUTION! This product contains ASBESTOS, which is known to cause cancer and lung disease.
Avoid creating dust. Intentionally removing or tampering with this label is a violation of state law.


What exemptions apply?

Labeling

The labeling requirement does not apply to:

  • Retailers that do not manufacture, wholesale, or distribute asbestos-containing building materials
  • Asbestos-containing building materials that:
    • Have already been installed, applied, or used by the consumer
    • Are used solely for United States Military purposes
    • Were purchased by a retailer prior to January 1, 2014 (stock-on-hand)

Building materials

The term “building materials” does not include products designed for:

  • Cars
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Boats

Other mobile means of transportation

House Flipping and Asbestos Requirements

Attention: Property Owners and real estate investors who “flip” houses and other properties Keep asbestos pitfalls from plaguing your real estate investments by doing the following BEFORE any construction, demolition, or remodeling work begins:

  • Learn the basics about asbestos, including where it could be present at potential investment properties and how it can cause harm.
  • Ensure, as the owner of the property (or as the building owner’s agent), that an EPA-certified, AHERA building inspector conducts a required good faith inspection (GFI).
  • Provide a copy of the GFI report, or a written statement that meets requirements, to any contractor or subcontractor before they are hired; and post the report or statement on site so it is always visible to any individuals involved in repairs, renovations, demolition, or any removal of materials that could contain asbestos.
  • Use only certified asbestos abatement contractors to remove any asbestos on site. They are specially trained to follow all applicable safety requirements, including job notification to L&I, employee safety training, and certification, use of appropriate personal protective equipment, proper work practices, and clearance testing.

Projects without a GFI, or where asbestos has been improperly removed, are at risk of immediate stop work orders, citations, and substantial penalties for both property owners and contractors. Doing your part to ensure asbestos is reliably identified and disclosed enables others to take the required actions to stay safe from harm while working with or around asbestos and prevents asbestos from being spread to vehicles, homes, and other workplaces.

When Should You Test for Asbestos?

According to the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), asbestos testing is required whenever you’re disturbing certain building materials. The list includes all building materials except for glass, metal, and wood.

Who is Authorized to Perform Asbestos Testing?

Homeowners who are carrying out the entire asbestos abatement process can use home kits to test the building materials but must meet the same State requirements of an AHERA survey.  But, if you want to hire an asbestos testing company, the provider needs to be AHERA certified in order to carry out the inspection. Hiring a professional is highly recommended they have mandated training hours to perform collecting these samples.

When is an AHERA Asbestos Building Inspector required to perform the testing?

Asbestos Surveys for renovations and demolitions must be performed by an AHERA Building Inspector as defined under 40 CFR 763 except for surveys associated with the renovation of an owner occupied, single-family residence. For the renovation of such residences, homeowners may perform their own asbestos surveys. However, if an owner-occupied single-family residence is to be demolished, an AHERA Building Inspector must be employed for the asbestos survey. Owners of rental properties must hire an AHERA inspector.

Roofing Replacement REQURIES Asbestos testing

Asbestos exposure is dangerous. To increase job-site and environmental safety, building owners and contractors performing renovation projects, including re-roofing, must comply with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) survey requirements. Failure to do so can result in significant financial penalties from the Clean Air Agency (up to $17,000/day of violation) without warnings issued. Property owners and contractors, it is your responsibility to take action to comply and avoid penalties (no exceptions).*

Examples of suspect materials in roofing products:

  • Roofing underlayment 
  • Rolled roofing
  • Silver paint 
  • Built-up or hot-mop roofing 
  • Fireproofing paper
  • Sealants

Prior to any renovations:

1. Check to see if a survey has been completed regardless of the age of the structure.

2. If none exists, a survey must be done to determine if asbestos is present. The survey must be conducted by an AHERA-certified building inspector. (Call Us! )

3. The survey summary must be posted and communicated with anyone on a construction site who may come in contact with asbestos materials.

4. Prior to any asbestos material removal, a notification and fee must be submitted to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website: http://www.pscleanair.org/regulated/asbestos/default.aspx

5. Abatement must be performed by a certified asbestos contractor.*

 

Failure to comply with asbestos requirements may result in penalties. Before you start most renovation (or demolition) projects, you MUST meet these asbestos requirements: Ren.o.vate: altering a facility or part of a facility in any way (except demolition). Renovating? Check for asbestos before you start ASBESTOS Conduct an Asbestos Survey For almost all structures, an AHERA*-certified building inspector must perform the survey. The only exception is if this is a single-family, owner-occupied home, where owners may conduct their own survey for possible asbestos-containing materials (ACM). The ACM must either be removed prior to renovation or be left undisturbed. The results of the survey must either be posted at the work site or communicated in writing to anyone who may come into contact with the material. File a Notification If any friable (disintegrates when crushed by hand) ACM is going to be removed from the structure, you must file a notification and pay a fee to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency at www.pscleanair.org/asbestos.

More Info...

Before you can legally start any demolition (or most renovation) projects, you MUST meet these asbestos requirements: ASBESTOS Conduct an Asbestos Survey

This survey must be conducted by an AHERA*-certified building inspector. You can search for them on the web or in phone books under “Asbestos Consulting and Testing”.

The results of the survey must either be posted at the work site or communicated in writing to anyone who may come into contact with the material.

File a Notification You must file a completed notification and pay a fee to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency at www.pscleanair.org/asbestos before you begin demolition.

Properly Remove Asbestos All asbestos-containing materials must be removed from the structure by an asbestos contractor prior to demolition.

For More Information Contact the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency at www.pscleanair.org/asbestos or call 206-689-4058.

 

SECTION 4.02 ASBESTOS SURVEY REQUIREMENTS Adopted 06/08/95 (818) (a)

Requirements for Renovations It shall be unlawful for any person to cause or allow a renovation unless the property owner or the owner's agent determines whether there are suspect 07/11 4-3 Regulation III asbestos-containing materials in the work area and obtains an asbestos survey of any suspect asbestos-containing materials by an AHERA building inspector. An AHERA building inspector is not required for asbestos surveys associated with the renovation of an owner occupied, single-family residence. (1) If there are no suspect materials in the work area, this determination shall either be posted at the work site or communicated in writing to all contractors involved in the renovation. (2) It is not required that an AHERA building inspector evaluate any material presumed to be asbestos-containing material. (3) Except for renovations of an owner occupied, single-family residence, only an AHERA building inspector may determine that a suspect material does not contain asbestos. (4) A summary of the results of the asbestos survey shall either be posted by the property owner or the owner's agent at the work site or communicated in writing to all persons who may come into contact with the material. (b) Requirements for Demolitions It shall be unlawful for any person to cause or allow any demolition unless the property owner or the owner's agent obtains an asbestos survey by an AHERA building inspector of the structure to be demolished. (1) It is not required that an AHERA building inspector evaluate any material presumed to be asbestos-containing material. (2) Only an AHERA building inspector may determine that a suspect material does not contain asbestos. (3) A summary of the results of the asbestos survey shall either be posted by the property owner or the owner's agent at the work site or communicated in writing to all persons who may come into contact with the material.

SECTION 4.03 ASBESTOS NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS Adopted 06/08/95 (818) Revised 09/12/96 (839), 07/13/00 (918), 05/23/02 (971), 05/22/03 (996), 12/16/04 (1037), 06/22/06 (1068), 03/22/07 (1090), 05/22/08 (1120), 03/26/09 (1148), 05/26/11 (1211) (a) General Requirements It shall be unlawful for any person to cause or allow any work on an asbestos project or demolition unless a complete notification, including the appropriate nonrefundable fee and any additional information requested by the Control Officer, has been submitted to the Agency in accordance with the waiting period and fee requirements in Section 4.03(d) of this regulation. Except for the annual notification requirements in Section 4.03(a)(7) of this regulation, the notification must be submitted on approved forms through the Agency website. (1) The duration of an asbestos project shall be commensurate with the amount of work involved. 07/11 4-4 Regulation III (2) Notification is not required for asbestos projects involving less than 10 linear feet of friable, asbestos-containing material on pipes and/or 48 square feet of friable, asbestos-containing material on other components (per structure, building, or vessel, per calendar year). (3) Notification is not required for removal and disposal of nonfriable, asbestos-containing material. (4) Notification is required for all demolitions involving structures with a projected roof area greater than 120 square feet, even if no asbestos-containing material is present. (5) All demolitions require a 10-day waiting period unless waived under Section 4.03(c)(1) of this regulation. (6) A printout of the notification, all amendments to the notification, and the asbestos survey shall be available for inspection at all times at the asbestos project or demolition site. (7) Annual Notification A property owner may file one annual notification for asbestos projects to be conducted on one or more structures, vessels, or buildings during each calendar year if all of the following conditions are met: (A) The annual notification shall be filed with the Agency before commencing work on any asbestos project included in an annual notification; (B) The total amount of asbestos-containing material for all asbestos projects from each structure, vessel, or building in a calendar year under this section is less than 260 linear feet on pipes and/or less than 160 square feet on other components; and (C) The property owner submits quarterly written reports to the Control Officer on Agency-approved forms within 15 days after the end of each calendar quarter. (b) Amendments (1) An amendment shall be submitted to the Control Officer in a notification through the Agency website for the following changes and shall be accompanied by the appropriate nonrefundable fee as set forth in Section 4.03(d) of this regulation: (A) Changes between asbestos and demolition project types; (B) Increases in the job size category that increase the fee; (C) Changes in the start date; or (D) Changes in the completion date. (2) Amendments may not be used to add or change project site addresses listed on a previously submitted notification. 07/11 4-5 Regulation III (c) Emergencies (1) The waiting period may be waived if an asbestos project or demolition must be conducted immediately because of any of the following: (A) There was a sudden, unexpected event that resulted in a public health or safety hazard; (B) The project must proceed immediately to protect equipment, ensure continuous vital utilities, or minimize property damage; (C) Asbestos-containing materials were encountered that were not identified during the asbestos survey; or (D) The project must proceed to avoid imposing an unreasonable burden. (2) The waiting period and fees may be waived for disposal of abandoned, (without the knowledge or consent of the property owner) friable, asbestos-containing material by written approval of the Control Officer. (d) Waiting Period and Fees Project Waiting Period Asbestos Fee Demolition Fee Single-Family Residence:  Asbestos Project prior written notification $25  Demolition (with or without asbestos project) 10 days $0 $65 Other than Single-Family Residence:  less than 10 linear ft and/or  less than 48 square ft 10 days for demolition $0 $65  10 - 259 linear ft and/or 48 - 159 square ft prior written notification for asbestos $65 10 days for demolition $65  260 - 999 linear ft and/or 160 - 4,999 square ft 10 days $210 $65  1,000+ linear ft and/or 5,000+ square ft 10 days $640 $85 Emergency – 4.03(c)* prior written notification applicable fees + $40 Amendment – 4.03(b) prior written notification applicable fees + $20 Annual Notice of Intent – 4.03(a)(7) prior written notification $1,000 *Single-family residences are exempt from the emergency fee

Companies in Washington Fined Over $800,000

Companies in Washington Fined Over $800,000

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced that two asbestos removal contractors were facing a combined $800,000+ in fines for knowingly and repeatedly exposing employees and the public to extremely hazardous conditions. One of the firms was cited with 13 willful serious violations in connection with two separate June 2021 inspections for intentional disregard of asbestos regulations and continuing to pursue and complete abatement work without certification or a contractor’s license. The other asbestos removal company faces 10 willful serious citations.

L&I warned:

Asbestos is extremely hazardous and can cause potentially fatal diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Only a certified abatement contractor that follows specific asbestos-related safety and health rules may remove and dispose of asbestos-containing building materials.

Inspectors reportedly observed an employee of Above and Beyond removing a popcorn ceiling in a Bothell home. When informed of the contractor’s license suspension, they reportedly left without arranging to clean up debris that L&I confirmed contained asbestos. 

At a Burien home, investigators reportedly found the son of Above and Beyond’s owner removing flooring that contained asbestos. The son, who like his father, is reportedly not certified for asbestos abatement, said he was unaware the company was decertified and unfamiliar with air monitoring and containment requirements.

In total, Above and Beyond was fined $575,000 and cited for 13 willful serious violations for intentional disregard of asbestos regulations and continuing to pursue and complete abatement work without certification or a contractor’s license.

Building owners and construction contractors both share responsibility for asbestos testing when doing work on the building. A good faith inspection for asbestos, performed by an AHERA-certified building inspector is required before any remodel, repair, removal, or other work that could disturb suspect materials.

Get an asbestos survey performed by an AHERA-certified building inspector prior to any construction, renovation, remodeling, maintenance, repair, or demolition project regardless of the age of the building.

Both building owners and contractors are subject to a mandatory $600 per day fine if an asbestos good faith inspection is not performed.

Provide this survey to any contractors bidding on the project. Subcontractors and all workers who will be working must also be provided with the survey, and a copy must be posted at the worksite.

If you have asbestos-containing materials that could be impacted during the work, hire a certified asbestos contractor to abate the asbestos.

4 Aces Restoration has been inspected by L&I more than a dozen times since 2016. 

As a result of the three recent inspections, L&I imposed 10 willful serious citations and $227,439 in fines. 

AHERA certified building inspector

CALL US FOR ASBESTOS TESTING 425.608.9553 Asbestos samples MUST be sampled by an Accredited AHERA Asbestos Inspector by State Law.

AHERA Asbestos Demo Survey

Pre-Demolition Hazardous Materials Survey

"AHERA certified building inspector" Check out our Asbestos survey using Ispecx Asbestos reporting software. This new software allows our clients to review the report in 360 views and see exactly where ACM samples are located. This tool allows Asbestos Abatement and demolition contractors a better insight into the job ahead. PNWIG is Seattle's resource for any Asbestos job.

Before any renovation or demolition, Washington State requires an Asbestos Survey! So call us today at 425.608.9553

Learn more about asbestos reporting software

AHERA Survey Software

Our AHERA Surveys reports are created with the Leading AHERA Asbestos Software in the industry by  Ispecx Reporting Software.

Our reports are virtual 360 for all bidding contractors to have an easy understanding of the survey. Contact us for any Asbestos testing 425.608.9553

Asbestos-Containing Products Still Manufactured Today

Throughout the past century, asbestos had been manufacturers’ favorite material, with more than 4.000 products containing the mineral at the time. By World War II, asbestos-containing materials were found in American ships, planes, vehicles, factories, hospitals, schools and homes across the nation. Later on, asbestos showed up in products everywhere, from fireproofing and fire prevention materials to drug store cosmetic counters.

Asbestos and health risks

There is mounting evidence showing that asbestos-containing products have been responsible for a number of asbestos exposure incidences. According to the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services, there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. Inhalation of airborne small fiber-like particles is detrimental to human health, already being demonstrated that all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans. Epidemiological studies have shown that exposure to asbestos may cause a number of severe lung diseases, some even fatal. Lung cancer causes the largest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure, around 4,800 deaths per year. Asbestosis, another primary disease associated with asbestos exposure, is a non-cancerous respiratory disease usually disabling or fatal. Evidence suggests that cancers in the esophagus, larynx, stomach, colon, ovaries, prostate, and kidney can also be caused by asbestos exposure.

Past attempts to ban asbestos

The fight to ban asbestos in the U.S. has been a long journey. In the second half of the 20th century, American health authorities became aware that asbestos is carcinogenic. In the coming decades, asbestos seemed to resist U.S. legislation.

  • The Clean Air Act of 1970 classified asbestos as a dangerous air pollutant and gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency authority to set regulations on the use, management and removal of asbestos
  • In 1973, EPA bans the use of spray-applied surfacing asbestos-containing material for fireproofing and insulation materials. In the following years, EPA also forbade the use of asbestos from more products, including wall patching compounds, artificial fireplace embers, boilers, hot water tanks, boilers.
  • The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 authorized EPA to force asbestos producers and users to control packaging, handling, storing and disposing of asbestos-containing materials. The regulation was withdrawn in only two years, lifting the initial ban on asbestos products.
  • In 1989, the EPA issued the Asbestos Ban and Phase-Out Rule which planned to impose a full ban on the manufacturing, importation, processing and sale of asbestos-containing products. The regulation has been criticized and pointed to job loss and economic consequences. Although the ABPR remains the best attempt at a federal ban of asbestos, the legislation was short-lived due to the counterattack from the asbestos industry.

Is asbestos likely to be banned in the near future?

Asbestos is still not banned in the U.S. Unfortunately, the use of this toxic mineral in all asbestos-containing products marketed before 1989 is still legal and continues to pose immense risks. Furthermore, asbestos-containing products continue to be manufactured even today.

In 2018, EPA released a significant new rule proposal (SNUR) which would allow the agency to prevent new uses of asbestos-containing products. The SNUR, a mechanism within the Toxic Substances Control Act, requires manufacturers to notify the EPA before asbestos is used in ways that might create concerns.

Potential new uses for asbestos subject to SNUR:

  • Arc chutes
  • Beater-add gaskets
  • Extruded sealant tape and other tapes
  • Filler for acetylene cylinders
  • High-grade electrical paper
  • Millboard
  • Missile liner
  • Adhesives, sealants and roof and non-roof coatings
  • Pipeline wrap
  • Reinforced plastics
  • Roofing felt
  • Separators in fuel cells and batteries
  • Vinyl asbestos floor tile
  • Other building materials

Critics of the proposed rule say that the agency’s actions aren’t as protective as they should be despite an apparent increase in regulation. Health advocates maintained that this rule can lead to more cases of asbestos exposure.

No safe exposure

Despite knowing its harmful aftereffect, asbestos is still used in some U.S. industries. There is a wide range of prominent sectors using asbestos products today, including:

  • Consumer product manufacturing
  • Residential, commercial and industrial construction
  • Automotive and heavy equipment manufacturers
  • Aircraft and aerospace construction
  • Shipbuilding and ship repairing

Risks of existing asbestos

Asbestos was used in almost every public and commercial building constructed before the 1980s in the U.S.  Asbestos could be in any part of a building, from floor tiles to rook sheets, toilet seats to wall panels. Working in and around these buildings presents a risk of asbestos exposure for homeowners and professional tradespeople.  Persons who intentionally or unwittingly disturb asbestos-containing materials can cause asbestos fibers to be released into the air, putting anyone who inhales these fibers at risk of developing debilitating asbestos-related diseases. People who renovate or demolish buildings that contain asbestos may be at significant risk, depending on the nature of the exposure and precautions taken.  Due to the significant risks associated with unlicensed asbestos removal, it is recommended to contact a certified company to help you remove asbestos-containing materials in a safe manner.

About the author:

Gregory A. Cade is the principal attorney at Environmental Litigation Group P.C., a reliable law firm focused solely on asbestos exposure cases. His expertise and reputation in these cases derive from a successful track record that spans more than two decades. Gregory A. Cade work consists in representing injured victims and their families with the purpose of obtaining substantial recoveries.

WA State Asbestos Notification Requirements

WAC 296-65-020

Notification requirements.

(1) Before any person or individual begins an asbestos project as defined in WAC 296-62-07722 and 296-65-003 involving more than forty-eight square feet or ten linear feet, unless the surface area of the pipe is greater than forty-eight square feet, of asbestos-containing material, written notification must be provided to the department. Notices must include:
(a) Name and address of the owner and contractor.
(b) Description of the facility including size, age, and prior use of the facility.
(c) Amount of asbestos-containing material to be removed or encapsulated.
(d) Location of the facility.
(e) Exact starting and completion dates of the asbestos project, including shifts during which abatement work will be accomplished. These dates must correspond to the dates specified for asbestos removal in the contract. Any change in these dates or work shifts must be communicated to the department by an amended notice filed at the office where the original notice was filed.
• When the starting date or time changes, the amended notice must be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. on the business day prior to the starting date in the original notice and prior to the new starting date.
• When the completion date or time changes, the amended notice must be filed before completion of the project, and within eight hours from when the person learns that the change will occur.
Notice may be filed by facsimile (fax).
(f) Nature of the project and methods used to remove or encapsulate the material.
(2) Notices must be received by the department no later than ten days prior to the start of the project. Notices must be sent directly to the department of labor and industries regional office having jurisdiction on the project.
(3) The director may waive the prenotification requirement upon written request of an owner for large-scale, on-going projects. In granting such a waiver, the director will require the owner to provide prenotification if significant changes in personnel, methodologies, equipment, work site, or work procedures occur or are likely to occur. The director will further require annual resubmittal of such notification.
(4) The director, upon review of an owner's reports, work practices, or other data available as a result of inspections, audits, or other authorized activities, may reduce the size threshold for prenotification required by this section. Such a change will be based on the director's determination that significant problems in personnel, methodologies, equipment, work site, or work procedures are creating the potential for violations of this chapter.
(5) Emergency projects which disturb or release asbestos into the air must be reported to the department within three working days after commencement of the project in the manner otherwise required under this chapter. The employees, the employees' collective bargaining representative or employee representative, if any, and other persons at the project area must be notified of the emergency as soon as possible by the person undertaking the emergency project. A notice describing the nature of the emergency project must be clearly posted adjacent to the work area.
(6) Incremental phasing in the conduct or design of asbestos projects or otherwise conducting or designing asbestos projects of a size less than the threshold exemption specified in subsection (1) of this section, with the intent of avoiding the notification requirements, is a violation of this chapter.

 

Puget Sound Clean Air

 

Renovating your rental property or condominium, or demolishing your house, you must hire an AHERA-certified building inspector to perform the survey. 

 

A. Leave it alone. Asbestos becomes a health risk if it is disturbed or deteriorating and fibers are released into the air. It may be possible to work around the asbestos during the renovation without disturbing it.

B. Repair or encapsulate. You may re-seal or encapsulate the asbestos in its location and without notifying our agency if it is not disturbed.

C. Remove It. If you are renovating your rental property or condominium, or are a renter, you must hire a certified asbestos abatement contractor to remove the asbestos.

If you decide to remove the asbestos yourself (Homeowners), you must:

1) File an Asbestos/Demolition Notification. Before you remove friable asbestos-containing material from the structure, you a PSClean Air notification along with a $30 filing fee

 

Clean Air Agencies:

Yarrow Point,WA Requires an Asbestos survey required for buildings 1985 and older in their Building Permit Documention and Lead survey required pre1978 buildings. BUT the State has stricter requirements, no dates are subject. Yarrow point misleading building contractors and home owners? Email us us and let us know what you think. 

 

Vermiculite Asbestos Attic Insulation

What Is It?

If you have never seen vermiculite insulating an attic, you may have seen it in potting soil. Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral worldwide. When heated rapidly to high temperatures, this crystalline mineral expands into low density, accordion-like, golden brown strands. In fact, its worm-like shape is what gives vermiculite its name. The worms are broken into rectangular chunks about the size of the eraser on the end of a pencil. In addition to being light, vermiculite chunks are also absorbent and fire retardant. These characteristics make it great as an additive, for example to potting soil. It also makes a good insulating material.

 

Where Was It Used?

Sold under various brand names, such as Zonolite Attic Insulation, the insulation came in big bags. Thousands of homeowners simply opened the bags and poured the vermiculite onto their attic floor and sometimes down exterior walls. It was generally not used in new construction.

When Was It Used?

Worldwide, vermiculite has been used in various industries as long ago as 1920. With the upsurge in home ownership during the baby boom, vermiculite insulation was a popular material in the 1950’s, and continued with the energy crisis into the late 1970’s. In Canada, it was one of the insulating materials allowed under the Canadian Home Insulation Program from about 1976 to the mid-1980’s. The CHIP program provided grants to homeowners to increase insulation levels, reducing energy consumption.

What Is The Problem?

The majority of the vermiculite used worldwide was from a mine in Libby, Montana, owned and operated since 1963 by W.R. Grace. The mine was closed in 1990. As well as being rich in vermiculite, this mine had the misfortune of having a deposit of tremolite, a type of asbestos. When the vermiculite was extracted, some tremolite came in with the mix.

For Canadian use, the raw product from the Libby mine was shipped to Grace subsidiary F. Hyde processing plants in Montreal, St. Thomas, Ajax and Toronto, and Grant Industries in western Canada. At these plants, it was processed and sold as Zonolite.

What Is The Risk?

Asbestos minerals tend to separate into microscopic particles that become airborne and are easily inhaled. People exposed to asbestos in the workplace have developed several types of life-threatening diseases, including lung cancer. Workers in and around the Libby mine developed serious health problems.
Like any hazards, length and intensity of exposure are major factors in the risk of asbestos-related respiratory illness. To assess the risk of asbestos exposure at a house, a sample of the vermiculite would need to be analyzed by a lab. Since most of the vermiculite used in Canada was taken from the Libby mine, the odds are quite good that there is asbestos in the vermiculite in Canadian attics.

The good news is that we don’t live in our attics. In addition, as long as it is undisturbed, neither the asbestos fibers bound up in the vermiculite chunks nor the dust will be released into the air. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the U.S., “Most people who get asbestos-related diseases have been exposed to high levels of asbestos for a long time.” Lastly, most of the time the air in your house flows from the house into the attic, rather than into the house from the attic.

The bottom line is, like most household products that may contain asbestos, and there are many, doing nothing is often the best approach. Naturally, the risk of exposure increases with the amount of time spent in the attic.

Recommendations

If the attic or walls of a house contain vermiculite insulation, leave it alone. Avoid disturbing the material. Do not sweep it or vacuum it up. Do not store belongings in the attic.

If work is planned that involves these areas, for example installing potlights in a room below the attic, send a sample of the vermiculite to a private lab. Send several samples, and use a lab specializing in asbestos analysis. If it is found to contain asbestos, or if you just assume it does, precautions should be taken. The safest approach would be to have the insulation in the affected areas removed by a qualified environmental contractor.

For smaller jobs it may be sufficient to isolate work areas with temporary barriers or enclosures to avoid spreading fibers, use disposable protective clothing, and use proper respiratory protection. An important note – disposable respirators or dust masks are not appropriate for asbestos. Again, it is best to consult a qualified contractor.

EPA considers ALL Vermiculite insulation to be a contaminate.

Remodeling and Asbestos Testing Requirements

In the State of Washington all remodeling projects that may disturb materials that could contain Asbestos require an AHERA inspection.

Before authorizing or allowing any construction, renovation, remodeling, maintenance, repair, or demolition project, an owner or owner's agent must perform or cause to be performed, a good faith inspection to determine whether materials to be worked on or removed contain asbestos. The inspection must be documented by a written report maintained on file and made available upon request to the director.

(A) The good faith inspection must be conducted by an accredited inspector.

(B) Such good faith inspection is not required if the owner or owner's agent is reasonably certain that asbestos will not be disturbed by the project or the owner or owner's agent assumes that the suspect material contains asbestos and handles the material in accordance with WAC 296-62-07701 through 296-62-07753.

(iii) The owner or owner's agent must provide, to all contractors submitting a bid to undertake any construction, renovation, remodeling, maintenance, repair, or demolition project, the written statement either of the reasonable certainty of nondisturbance of asbestos or of assumption of the presence of asbestos. Contractors must be provided with the written report before they apply or bid to work. (iv) Any owner or owner's agent who fails to comply with (c)(ii) and (iii) of this subsection must be subject to a mandatory fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars for each violation. Each day the violation continues must be considered a separate violation. In addition, any construction, renovation, remodeling, maintenance, repair, or demolition which was started without meeting the requirements of this section must be halted immediately and cannot be resumed before meeting such requirements.

Basically Washington State LNI requires anyone doing remodeling to identify any asbestos that could be impacted. You can assume suspect materials are asbestos and treat them accordingly; if your certain that no asbestos is present (with testing) or will be disturbed, you can prepare a written statement of non-disturbance; sample suspect materials following AHERA sampling protocol as listed below (40 CFR 763.86).

Q: Is the only way to be certain that Asbestos is present or not present is to have lab testing?

Pretty much, but if you have a project that is only going to impact wood 2x4’s, plywood, glass, and aluminum (as an example), you know none of those are suspect ACM, so you can create a written statement of the reasonable certainty of non-disturbance. If there are materials that COULD contain asbestos that could be impacted during a project, then you must either assume they DO contain asbestos or sample them and send them in for lab analysis.

Q: Does Concrete contain Asbestos?

It sure can! Read this article from the Concrete Association on Asbestos and concrete.

Types of Asbestos

There are a set of 6 fibrous minerals that are collectively known as asbestos. These include chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite. Asbestos is often also referred to by its color, such as white, blue, or brown asbestos. The different types of asbestos are:

  • Chrysotile – The most commonly used type of asbestos, Chrysotile is also commonly referred to as white asbestos. It is the only asbestos in the serpentine family, and its fibers have a curly structure. It was used in a range of materials, including gaskets, brake pads, roofing materials, cement, and insulation.
  • Amosite – Like the remaining types of asbestos, amosite is part of the amphibole family. It is also commonly referred to as brown asbestos. It was used in thermal, plumbing, chemical, and electrical insulation, as well as cement sheets, lagging, tiles, and insulation boards.
  • Crocidolite – This asbestos has the thinnest fibers, which makes it readily airborne and easy to inhale. Crocidolite is also often referred to as blue asbestos and was commonly used in ceiling tiles, fire protection, water encasement, and spray-on insulation. This form of asbestos is far more brittle than other types, which can result in decaying materials and the release of fibers.
  • Tremolite – This type of asbestos is strong, flexible, and heat resistant. It can be woven into cloth, where it was used to create fireproof clothing. It was also used in paints, sealants, and roofing materials.
  • Anthophyllite – This type of asbestos is one of the rarest, which has resulted in limited use. It has been used in products containing minerals, such as talcum powder. Whilst it has still been linked to asbestos-related diseases, it is amongst the least hazardous of all the types.
  • Actinolite – This type of asbestos was found in numerous forms, ranging from brittle to fibrous. It was used in fireproofing, gardening, insulation, and concrete. It has also been found in drywall and children’s toys.

We service Ocean Shores, Aberdeen, Olympia, West Port,  Federal Way, Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah, and other areas in the State of Washington.

 

 

 

Dealing with Asbestos as a Home Owner

Demolition Procedures for Homeowners In the Seattle Area

AHERA certified building inspector

Before you start, check for asbestos and then follow our requirements carefully – failure to do so can result in a notice of violation and monetary penalties for Pugent Clean Air. (Also, check with your local building department as they may have additional requirements for demolishing your house.)

1. Conduct an asbestos survey.

Surveys must be conducted by one of our AHERA-certified building inspectors. “Asbestos Consulting and Testing.” You must share the survey results with your demolition contractor and anyone else who may come in contact with the material, and keep a copy of the survey we completed on site.

2. File an Asbestos/Demolition Notification.

An Asbestos/Demolition Notification and a filing fee must be submitted to this agency before any asbestos removal or demolition begins. This applies to all structures, including mobile homes with greater than 120 square feet of roof area. Print a copy of the Notice you submit and keep it available for inspection.

3. Properly remove all asbestos.

Remove all friable asbestos-containing material prior to demolition.   Non-friable asbestos-containing material may be left in place during the demolition, provided it remains nonfriable but must be promptly transferred to a disposal container with a sign identifying the material as “nonfriable asbestos waste”.

NOTE: We strongly encourage you to employ a certified asbestos abatement contractor to remove any asbestos. The work is difficult, time-consuming, and dangerous to you and your family’s health if procedures and regulations are not strictly followed. These experts have specialized equipment and training and employ techniques to control asbestos fibers not available to homeowners. In addition, asbestos removal work is physically demanding, requiring a respirator, non-breathable coveralls, rubber gloves, and boots, working in high humidity and on wet, slippery surfaces.

If you remove friable asbestos-containing material yourself, you must follow Regulation III, Section 4.05 (b) “Friable Asbestos Removal Work Practices” and 4.07 “Disposal of Asbestos-Containing Waste Material" (PDF 0.1MB). The following homeowner instructions for three common types of friable asbestos-containing materials are available to help you remove the material yourself.

If you remove nonfriable asbestos-containing (ACM) material yourself, you must follow Regulation III, Section 4.05 (c) "Method of Removal for Nonfriable, Asbestos-Containing Material" .

 

4.   Properly dispose of the asbestos.

Friable asbestos-containing waste needs to be taken to an Asbestos Disposal Waste Facility authorized to receive the debris. Complete and bring an Asbestos waste material shipment record to dispose of the friable asbestos waste at the disposal site. Non-friable asbestos-containing waste must be promptly transferred to a disposal container labeled "nonfriable asbestos waste". Please contact your local waste company for further instructions.

 

5. Demolish the structure.

You must wait 10 days after submitting an Asbestos/Demolition Notification to demolish your house, even if there is not any asbestos material found.

 

 

Other Requirements from the following may need to be met:

 

Washington Local Clean Air Agencies (NESHAP)

 

These jobs get QA more than you think. Follow the requirements!

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE ASBESTOS IN MY HOME OR BUSINESS?

Asbestos-containing building materials become an issue when they are disturbed during a remodel, renovation, or demolition. At that point, if not properly removed, the microscopic asbestos particles may be released into the air and may be accidentally inhaled. Prior to beginning the remodel or demolition, you should test all building materials for asbestos. If you have asbestos, and it will be disturbed during a remodel, renovation, or demolition, it should be safely removed by a certified asbestos abatement company.

Building Materials Containing Asbestos

Asbestos is still allowed to be in materials today and is only Banned in a few products. So until testing proves otherwise we assume ALL materials are Positive until proved otherwise. Here are some materials we found tested positive in Seattle commercial and residential buildings.

Some listed items are contributed by other AHERA inspectors.

 

  • Vapor barrier behind brick veneer
  • The vapor barrier on the interior side of exterior walls behind plaster
  • Gypsum roof deck (this is less often ACM, but I've found it on at least 3 roofs)
  • Mastic / vapor barrier below floor filler and flooring
  • Vapor barrier below terrazzo floors.
  • Bituminous waterproofing on concrete foundation walls below grade
  • Built-up roofing UNDER concrete
  • Transite breaker blocks for electrical circuits
  • Transite board behind electrical panels
  • Elevator cars coated with a black sealant
  • Corrugated asbestos paper insulation in elevator doors
  • Transite inside metal partition walls for offices/cubicles
  • Flower pots
  • Glue inside partition walls
  • Cisterns
  • Cowling around roof vent fans
  • Elevator brake shoes
  • Clutches in conveyor belts and other equipment
  • Framing around radiator
  • Loose fill attic insulation ("Karsolite" & "Zonolite")
  • Mortar was used to insulate hot water piping in homes
  • Distance holders used with lightning conductors
  • Brick was used intermittently in the masonry walls of schools to nail into
  • Fiber backing on the back of fiberglass roofing composite shingles
  • Plaster de Paris
  • Core on fiberglass pipe insulation
  • (vermiculite) in thick plaster base coat beneath scratch and finish coat
  • Paper on fiberglass bats (muck like kraft back) within metal walls of an insulated rail car
  • Loose fill attic insulation
  • Fire door
  • Spray-on Fireproofing added to the concrete foundation
  • Sink undercoating
  • Butterfly valve in an in-line fire/smoke damper
  • Foil backed fiberglass
  • Red cementitious flooring / Magnesite Floor Screed
  • Wallpaper
  • Varnish on a door
  • Pink loose type screed
  • Garage door rope
  • Shaggy bark of an artificial tree in a lobby
  • “ash” in a gas-fired fireplace
  • Thinset adhesive used for ceramic tile,
  • Dampers in a church organ
  • Layered soundproofing to a floor in a church bell tower
  • Wood type oak veneers made from asbestos at the old 'Turners Asbestos Factory' in Manchester UK
  • Padding as soundproofing behind ornate plaster in a Victorian ballroom
  • Fire curtain
  • W.C. cisterns
  • Rocks sold for carving pendants
  • Chimney flu from a hot water heater
  • Surround from an industrial extraction fan
  • Thin (3-5mm thick) foam inserts lining the inside of doors to process control panels
  • Bitumen of the roads
  • Building pads
  • Improvised cricket pitch
  • Cubic yard blocks of concrete
  • Fiber backing of Berber carpet
  • Terrazzo floors(red)
  • Concrete door Thresholds
  • Hotel rooms with ACM fire doors
  • Concrete floor patching
  • Asphalt flooring (similar to blacktop)
  • Duct-wrap type thin Sheet Paper-Slip/vapor barrier of a built-up roof system
  • Duct-wrap type thin Sheet Paper-Behind original metal classroom row lights
  • Hollow fire Doors - Heavy 1/4" thick mastic on interior
  • Gypsum Plank Floor Mastic Vapor Barrier
  • File cabinets/safe insulation
  • Wallpaper
  • EPDM Roof Lap sealant
  • Cable Conduit in manholes - thick, brown, fibrous asphaltic "pipes"
  • Terrazzo with asbestos
  • Aircraft engine sealant/gasket - extremely hard, clear to tan, epoxy possibly
  • Caulk at the wall to floor junction - looks like window glazing
  • Inside of stacks at a former steel plant
  • Inside main stacks on a tug boat lined with transite
  • Chalkboards
  • Galvanized corrugated metal looking material (Galbestos)
  • Chalkboard mastic
  • Expansion joints of concrete curtain walls
  • White chrysotile material within metal windows
  • Brown paper that wraps fiberglass insulation
  • Rubber roof seam positive
  • Thick paint on CMU walls
  • Aircell sheets on ductwork
  • Granular surfacing, which I initially thought was just dust/debris buildup, on the inside of large Westinghouse motor & generator housings
  • Black cork surfacing on piping
  • Viewing shield of a boiler
  • Pure crocidolite sprayed on the auditorium walls
  • CSI Kits for kids containing fake fingerprint powder
  • Black asphaltic coating (much like a sink undercoat) on the backside of cast aluminum basketball backboards
  • The mortar between a product called Pyrobar bricks
  • Alpine Slide track was made of ACM transite
  • Under the wood floor, inside what are called sleepers, filled with chrysotile, for noise and or fire protection
  • Electrical wiring where the inner plastic coating contains chrysotile.
  • Plaster as patching behind an old AIB fume hood
  • Seam mastics between lab countertops
  • Wire mesh with the white disc for holding glass containers over Bunsen burners
  • Old electronic lab equipment with the thick gray insulating board
  • Chalkboards
  • Lab countertops and fume hood countertops
  • Chrysotile mat under lead flooring.
  • Black ACM mastic used to attach a paper/foil jacket to fiberglass pipe insulation
  • ALL WHITE Roofing felt/paper
  • Concrete Foundations
  • Concrete Sidewalks/Driveways
  • Electrical Wire Insulation
  • Drywall
  • Joint Compound
  • Roofing Tar - (Still Sold Today)
  • On the inside of speaker, the box's in K-12 Schools
  • Drip pan - Clay Liner
  • Window putty
  • Rope
  • Stage curtains
  • Floor Underlayment
  • Fiberglass Paper Backing
  • Fireplace Decorative Logs
  • Concrete expansion-seam caulks
  • Rubber
  • Sub-Flooring Slip Sheet
  • Gray Roofing Paint
  • Brick Mortar
  • Lab Hoods
  • Chalkboards
  • Poured Flooring
  • Furnace Gaskets

 

Note: This list does not include every product that may contain asbestos. It is intended as a general guide to show which types of materials have been found to contain asbestos.