Asbestos in Buildings

Many buildings at the University have asbestos containing materials (ACM) in certain building materials used in their construction. Some University buildings contain intact asbestos materials in public access areas. These materials may include:

  • Vinyl asbestos floor tiles or linoleum sheet flooring
  • Mastic used to attach flooring, ceiling tiles, carpet, cove base, cork board
  • Pipe insulation
  • Fireproofing
  • Joint compounds used in sheetrock walls
  • Acoustical/decorative plaster
  • Fire doors
  • Acoustic ceiling tiles
  • Baseboards
  • Concrete pipes and siding
  • Exterior siding
  • Window putty

The asbestos in the above listed materials is normally bonded with vinyl, epoxy, cement, or other materials. Keep in mind the following:

  • Under normal conditions the materials do not pose a health threat.
  • If the material is cracked, drilled, sanded, or otherwise disturbed, it could result in the release of asbestos fibers into the air that could present a health risk.
  • As long as the outer canvas cover or metal sheathing on the pipes is intact, the insulation does not present a health problem.

In addition, some laboratory and machine shop areas have benches, storage cabinets, or fume hoods constructed with ACM. ACM such as pipe insulation, gaskets, flex duct connections, and roofing asphalt may be found in areas not normally accessed by the public.

Any work involving ACM must only be performed by personnel who have received Asbestos Awareness Training or are certified asbestos workers using proper work practices, containment equipment, and personal protective equipment.

University facilities maintenance departments are responsible for properly managing asbestos in their buildings and related spaces. An Asbestos Management Plan should be in place. This plan outlines functions the department and/or their contractor will perform with regards to training, notification, monitoring, jobsite controls, safe work practices, recordkeeping, etc., for maintaining asbestos in-place and for instances when asbestos may be disturbed. Please see the Focus Sheet Asbestos in Buildings – Department Responsibilities for Operations and Maintenance of Asbestos to learn more.

For additional information refer to the asbestos Asbestos FAQ page.