Nevada (NV) Asbestos Removal & Abatement Resources:

In the state of Nevada, regulations are imposed by federal, state and local agencies regarding proper handling and disposal of asbestos containing materials. The state of Nevada defines asbestos as a naturally occurring mineral that can be broken down into a fibrous material.

Asbestos Health Concerns

Asbestos is one of the most regulated materials in the United States. Asbestos came into popular use in the United States in the 1900s due to its excellent tensile strength, insulating and chemically resistant properties, and its fireproof nature. The material appeared to be a miracle product and was heavily used in a wide variety of building and construction materials. Before the 1970s, asbestos insulation was often a building code requirement. Naval shipyards relied heavily on the substance, as it appeared to be perfect for various applications in ships where fireproofing and insulation were exceedingly important.

In the 1970s it became apparent that asbestos posed serious health hazards to humans. The diagnosis of diseases and cancers that are specific to asbestos exposure led the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to institute heavy regulations on both the production and the abatement and disposal of asbestos containing materials.

Asbestos falls into two categories. Friable asbestos is asbestos material that is likely to release fibers into the air through normal handling. It can be pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure. Non-friable asbestos is asbestos that is in good condition and is unlikely to become destroyed through normal hand pressure. Some of the materials that are likely to contain asbestos in a non-friable form are floor tiles, roofing shingles and wallboard. However, Even non-friable materials should be treated with caution. Although they are usually safe as long as they are undisturbed, non-friable asbestos containing materials have the capacity of becoming friable if they are cut, drilled, abraded, sanded or otherwise damaged.

Asbestos Abatement Procedures

The state of Nevada requires that friable asbestos be dealt with promptly upon discovery, particularly when there are plans present for a demolition or renovation project. In the case of renovation, there are several options available for asbestos abatement. Encapsulation and enclosure are two methods that may be available and less costly than a full-scale removal process. If the building is slated for demolition, the asbestos must be removed completely before any demolition can occur.

Asbestos workers in Nevada must be certified through an accredited program in order to legally work on an asbestos abatement project. Certification programs are regulated by the EPA, and must be approved to be accredited and acceptable to the state. The owner or operator of a property in which an abatement project is slated to be performed is responsible for ensuring that all hired contractors are licensed and certified, and employ certified workers and supervisors for the job. It is also the responsibility of the owner or operator to ensure that proper notification of procedures takes place.

Notification to the EPA requires a minimum of ten working days before the project begins. Notification of state and local offices must also occur in this time frame, along with payment of any fees associated with the project. These regulations apply to all public and commercial buildings. Additional regulations exist when an asbestos abatement project takes place in an elementary or secondary school.

Any building that is slated for demolition must be inspected for asbestos, regardless of whether the building is supposed to contain asbestos. If asbestos is found on the site, certain regulations apply regarding proper abatement and removal of asbestos containing materials.

After a certified asbestos inspector has determined that asbestos is present at the site, and notification has been made and approved, the project is permitted to move forward. Proper procedures for asbestos removal include creating a sealed work area with a negative air pressure environment adjacent to a decontamination area. The area will be inspected and the air exhaust tested for asbestos fibers before removal can take place. Asbestos containing material must be thoroughly wet down before it is disturbed.

All asbestos containing materials are removed, and the area is thoroughly scraped and cleaned until it is completed clear of asbestos materials. The removed material must be bagged, and the bags wiped down and inserted into a second bag, which must be labeled before it can be removed from the area. After all asbestos has been removed, another inspection will occur in both the work area and the decontamination area to ensure that the building is free of asbestos fibers and dust.

Asbestos containing material must be transported by an authorized vehicle registered with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. The materials must be transported to an authorized landfill that is permitted to accept asbestos containing material. Records of transport and receipt must be meticulously checked. The amount that left the worksite and the amount that was delivered to the landfill must match. It is the responsibility of project management to resolve any discrepancies between removed and delivered asbestos containing material (1).

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