Asbestos, when disturbed, can be very hazardous to those who are exposed to it. Old buildings and homes built between 1950 and 1973 could be positive for the presence of asbestos. Once disturbed or damaged, these materials could release asbestos fibers into the air, which when inhaled can cause serious lung disorders.
Regulating the management and safety procedures of maintaining, repairing, and removing asbestos-containing materials is one of the prime concerns of the government. As a result, several asbestos regulations and laws were passed in order to minimize the potential hazards of asbestos as well as protect the public from its harmful effects.
Here are a few agencies of government concerned with creating asbestos regulations:
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
Asbestos regulation in consumer products is the primary concern of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to providing general information about asbestos that could be present in the home, the CPSC is also responsible for setting up guidelines for repairing and removing asbestos as well as laboratories for asbestos testing.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
As asbestos exposure is often accomplished through airborne particles of the mineral, the Environmental Protection Agency is the main government instrumentality that handles asbestos regulation to protect the general public.
There are two different asbestos regulation that EPA enforces. These are:
* Clean Air Act (CAA). Administered by the EPA, the Clean Air Act is one example of an asbestos regulation that aims to clear the air of pollutants and contaminants. The problem of asbestos is addressed under Section 112, entitled National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos. Under this section of the asbestos regulation, the standard work practices minimizing the risk of asbestos exposure while engaged in activities are established.
* Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This act is administered and managed by the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) or some other state or local equivalent. There are two other asbestos regulation branching under the TSCA: AHERA (Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act) and ASHARA (Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act).
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
This body was primarily set up to protect workers from asbestos exposure in the workplace. However, going beyond mere setting up of safety standards in the work premises, the agency also has asbestos regulation to protect employees from asbestos exposure in connection with their work. They do this by offering technical assistance, consultation programs, and basically reaching out to employees and employers. Other services provided by this agency include the Asbestos Advisor 2.0, which is a software program that allows building owners to find out if they have sufficiently complied with the current federal asbestos regulations. Visit their website for more information, or contact the Department of Labor and Industries.