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Asbestos Assessments/Surveillance

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Assessment Criteria

Degree of Damage

Asbestos-containing material will be placed in one of three categories based upon visual inspection: "significantly damaged," "damaged," or "good." The following guidelines are provided to help assess the degree of damage.

  • significantly damaged condition exists if the area of damage (crumbling or blistering, hanging from the surface, water stains, gouges, or mars) is greater than 10% if evenly distributed, or greater than 25% if localized.
  • damaged condition exists if the area of damage (crumbling or blistering, hanging from the surface, water stains, gouges, or mars) is less than 10% if evenly distributed, or less than 25% if localized.
  • good condition indicates little or no visible damage or deterioration or shows only very limited damage or deterioration.

For the purposes of determining damage, the accumulation of powder, dust, or debris similar in appearance to the suspect material on surfaces beneath the material can be used as confirmatory evidence.

Potential for Disturbance

The likelihood that the asbestos-containing material could be disturbed in the future is related to the frequency in which service personnel needs to work near the material, or building occupants are in the vicinity of the material, the location of the asbestos-containing material with respect to sources of vibration, and the potential for air erosion. The following factors should be considered for the potential for disturbance of suspect asbestos-containing material.

  • Potential for contact with the material
    • High - service workers work in the vicinity of the material more than once per week, or the material is in a public area (hallway, corridor, auditorium) and accessible to building occupants.
    • Moderate - service workers work in the vicinity of the material once per month, or the material is in a room or office and accessible to the occupants.
    • Low - service workers work in the vicinity of the material less than once per month, or the material is visible but not within reach of the building occupants.
  • Influence of vibration of the material
    • High - loud motors or engines present, or intrusive noises, or easily sensed vibrations (ex. major airport or highway).
    • Moderate - motors or engines present but not intrusive (ex. ducts vibrating but no fan in the area)
    • Low - none of the above.
  • Potential for air erosion of the material
    • High - high-velocity air (ex. elevator shaft, fan room, compressed air)
    • Moderate - noticeable movement of air
    • Low - none of the above.

Contact Information

Robin McCall-Miller, Occupational Safety Program Manager

Phone: 540-231-2341
Email: rmmiller@vt.edu