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- Since 2006 -

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Westlife Environmental LLC - (623)889-4843 9915 W. Bell Rd., #420, Sun City, AZ 85351 - © 2013

Isn’t asbestos

banned in the US?

While the use of asbestos IS banned in the EU and many other countries (including Canada - where asbestos had been mined and exported until very recently), asbestos in most of its uses has never been banned in the US.

The only ban on asbestos in effect in the US is against its use in TSI (pipe insulation and fireproofing). All other uses are perfectly legal here.

It is quite common to be able to find asbestos containing materials (ACM) in many products still in use in construction today.

Should you worry about the possibility of exposure to your family, employees or others because of this? Certainly - and rightly so, BUT the mere presence of asbestos does not mean exposure is probable. A great deal depends on the condition of the ACM present.

Since asbestos isn’t a threat to human health until it becomes airborne, ACM in good condition can be perfectly safe to live with - until it becomes damaged or in bad condition.

This concept is the trust of AHERA - the current EPA regulations protecting schools and the people that work and frequent them from asbestos exposure. It also sets 5 different levels of certification required for people that deal with asbestos - Inspectors, Management Planners, Project Designers, Contractor Supervisors and Workers. AHERA also sets time frames for recertification - usually once each year.

The EPA reasoned that knowing how much, the location of, the condition of ACM, and the proper training of those working with it was sufficient to control exposure to those most vulnerable to it - children, teachers and staff in our schools.

EVERY K-12 school in the US is required to comply with AHERA regulations. It makes no distinction among private, public, religious, charter or any other type of school where children may be taught - ALL K-12 schools are covered under its scope.

In compiling its own regulation for safe work practices for asbestos - OSHA refers back to the regulations set in AHERA as its own base for setting work practices - in ALL buildings. It also sets the level of training required for different levels of work with asbestos - so that everyone(from maintenance workers to asbestos removal contractors) has proper training. Not having properly trained personnel is one of the most regularly violated items where OSHA fines and jail time are commonly directed.

The EPA’s NESHAP regulations cover the waste stream of ACM - both during and after removal from a structure. It regulates the type and process of packaging of the waste, transport and disposal, as well as the possible release of asbestos into the air during removal, packaging and transport.

NESHAP fines are common fines levied on violators for improper handling and disposal of ACM.

ADDITIONALLY - One violation commonly begins a search by regulators for ALL violations - so AHERA, OSHA and NESHAP violations may be piled one upon the other in a worst case scenario.

So - Is asbestos banned?

NO - But it IS Highly Regulated

….And ignorance of the law

is NOT accepted as an excuse

for regulatory violations.

It pays to know where asbestos might be in a structure, how much is there, and the condition of it - to protect occupants and visitors from exposure. It also pays to have the people involved trained properly, because not doing so can bring on great liabilities to building owners and employers.

Important: Asbestos violations CAN result in fines AND jail time!

You may not only feel a need to deal with asbestos properly

- to protect human health -

but you are required to do so

by law!

Protect yourself, your family, and your employees. Hire the proper people when dealing with the possibility of asbestos in your structure. Don’t rely on “common sense”, because common sense can have little to do with the complex regulatory restrictions in place. Make sure those you hire know and follow those regulations. The best way to do that is to request a copy of their EPA certifications. We provide ours at request.

Westlife is EPA Certified for ALL phases of asbestos work - except Worker (since we don’t do removal contracting).

Contact us in confidence - Westlife will deal with your asbestos concerns properly.

(623) 889-4843

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