asbestos spill testing

Testing For Asbestos Spills

Colorado Air Quality Control Commission Regulation 8, Part B, creates a definition of asbestos spill in section I.B.21:

“Asbestos spill means any release of asbestos fibers due to a breach of the containment barrier on an abatement project, or due to any cause other than asbestos abatement.”

That means when your well-intentioned crew knocked down that old outbuilding behind your shop without a demolition permit, you may have already unknowingly violated state and federal asbestos regulations. What you do next could have far-reaching and potentially expensive consequences.

Do I Have an Asbestos Spill?

An Asbestos spill is caused when building materials that contain asbestos are disturbed. Materials can be disturbed in a number of ways such as Cutting, Sawing, Scraping, Prying, Breaking, Sanding, Grinding, Etc. If asbestos containing materials are disturbed then it is possible there has been a fiber release of asbestos into the air. Once way asbestos spills can be caused by someone impacting building materials that contain asbestos. The second way is by a natural disaster such as flood, fire, tree falling on house, Etc. If an event where asbestos containing materials have been disturbed then a certified inspector should look at the project. A certified inspector is able to help guide you through the process of what is required and what is not required with any state and federal laws and regulations. If in a residence more than 32 Sq Ft is disturbed then it is considered a major spill by the CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment). If a major spill is determined then it is required by law to clean up the spill. In order to clean up the spill a Certified General Abatement contractor (GAC) is required to perform the work. It is possible the entire property will need to be cleaned along with replacing and textiles, carpet, electronics, etc. Glass, rubber, metal, wood, can be cleaned typically.

It Spilled. Now What?

There are are a few things that need to be done when a possible spill has occurred.

First, you want to have the materials that were disturbed tested for asbestos. This can be done by testing any remaining material left behind on-site. A small amount of building material is needed to test for asbestos. If the results do come back positive it is possible clean up of the asbestos will need to be done by a certified asbestos abatement contractor. In order to find out what the scope is for the GAC you need to have the property inspected for Asbestos via micro-vac or dust wipe sampling. These results will tell you which rooms are affected and which ones are not. The GAC is then able to produce a quote for cleanup for the rooms which were affected.

With a clear picture of the problem, you can formulate a plan to mitigate the spill and emerge from situation.

Asbestos Spill Testing FAQs