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National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants

In accordance with Section 112 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1970, the EPA established National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) to protect the public. Asbestos was one of the first hazardous air pollutants regulated under Section 112. The Asbestos NESHAP (40 CFR 61, Subpart M) addresses milling, manufacturing and fabricating operations, demolition and renovation activities, waste disposal issues, active and inactive waste disposal sites and asbestos conversion processes.

Only some of the many asbestos-containing building materials (ACBMs) have been banned. Three bans on ACBMs were set forth by the NESHAP regulations:

  • Spray-applied insulating materials - 1973
  • Pre-molded insulation, if friable - 1976
  • Spray-applied decorative materials - 1978

The Asbestos NESHAP requires facility owners and/or operators involved in demolition and renovation activities to control emissions of particulate asbestos to the outside air because no safe concentration of airborne asbestos has ever been established. Accordingly, NESHAP requires the identification of abestos-containing materials that may be disturbed in buildings before renovation or demolition. Notifications prior to asbestos abatement work are also required. The primary method used to control asbestos emissions is to adequately wet the Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) with a wetting agent prior to, during and after demolition/renovation activities.



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