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Asbestos

A generic name for the fibrous variety of six naturally occurring minerals that have been used in commercial products. It is made up of long, thin, fiber bundles that are flexible and easily separated.

Asbestos Regulations Explained

WNCRAQA must be notified of plans to demolish or remodel any building in Buncombe county no matter the age, including residential, commercial, industrial or public buildings; or plans to remove any asbestos-containing material. These buildings must be surveyed by accredited asbestos inspectors prior to beginning any demolition or removal activities, to determine the amount of asbestos present and the applicable rules.

If asbestos is present, a permit must be obtained from WNCRAQA before any asbestos-containing materials are removed from a building. All asbestos-containing materials must be removed before a building may be demolished.

Demolition or removal must be handled so that asbestos fibers are not released into the air. Asbestos-containing materials must be kept wet. Materials that can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry, (friable), must be removed by asbestos-accredited professionals prior to demolition. Asbestos cement board, or transite siding, must be removed prior to demolition.

Asbestos is dangerous and is harmful to humans. A naturally occurring mineral, it is a known carcinogen and its long, sharp microscopic fibers can penetrate and remain in the human body. Diseases associated with asbestos exposure include asbestosis, lung cancer, and cancers of the stomach, esophagus, colon and pancreas.

Read more at epa.gov/iaq/asbestos.

Asbestos Containing Materials

Product Location % Asbestos Dates of Use Binder Friable/Non-friable How fibers can be released
Roofing felts Flat, built up roofs 10-15 1910-present Asphalt Non-friable Replacing, repairing, demolishing
Roof felt shingles Roofs 1 1971-1974 Asphalt Friable Replacing, demolishing
Roofing shingles Roofs 20-32 ?-present Portland cement Non-friable Replacing, repairing, demolishing
Roofing Tiles Roofs 20-30 1930-present Portland cement Non-friable Replacing, repairing, demolishing
Siding shingles Siding 12-14 ?-present Portland cement Non-friable Replacing, repairing, demolishing
Clapboards Siding 12-15 1944- 1945 Portland cement Non-friable Replacing, repairing, demolishing
Product Location % Asbestos Dates of Use Binder Friable/Non-friable How fibers can be released
Sprayed coating Ceilings, walls, and steelwork 1-95 1935-1978 Portland cement, sodium silicate, organic binders Friable Water damage, deterioration, impact
Troweled coating Ceilings, walls 1-95 1936-1978 Portland cement, sodium silicate Friable Water damage, deterioration, impact
Asbestos-cement sheet Near heat sources such as fireplaces, boilers 20-50 1930-present Portland cement Non-friable Cutting, sanding, scraping
Spackle Walls, ceilings 3-5 1930-1978 Starch, casein, synthetic resins Friable Cutting, sanding, scraping
Joint compounds Walls, ceilings 3-5 1945-1977 Asphalt Friable Cutting, sanding, scraping
Textured paints Walls, ceilings 4-15 ?-1978   Friable Cutting, sanding, scraping
Millboard, rollboard Walls, commercial buildings 80-85 1925-? Starch, lime, clay Friable Cutting, demolition
Vinyl wallpaper Walls 6-8 ?   Non-friable Removal, sanding, dry scraping, cutting
Insulation board Walls 30 ? Silicates Friable Removal, sanding, dry scraping, cutting
Product Location % Asbestos Dates of Use Binder Friable/Non-friable How fibers can be released
Vinyl-asbestos tile Floors 21 1950-1980? Poly(vinyl)-chloride Non-friable Removal, sanding, dry scraping, cutting
Asphalt-asbestos tile Floors 26-33 1920-1980? Asphalt Non-friable Removal, sanding, dry scraping, cutting
Resilient sheet flooring Floors 30 1950-1980? Dry oils Non-friable Removal, sanding, dry scraping, cutting
Mastic adhesives Sheet flooring and tile backing 5-25 1945-1980? Asphalt Friable Removal, sanding, dry scraping, cutting
Product Location % Asbestos Dates of Use Binder Friable/Non-friable How fibers can be released
Cement pipe and fittings Water and sewer mains 20-? 1935-present Portland cement Non-friable Demolition, cutting, removing
Block insulation Boilers 6-15 1890-1978 Magnesium carbonate, calcium silicate Friable Damage, cutting, deterioration
Preformed pipe wrap Pipes 50 1926-1975 Magnesium carbonate, calcium silicate Friable Damage, cutting, deterioration
Corrugated asbestos paper Pipes, high temp., moderate temp. 90
35-70
1935-1980?
1910-1980?
Sodium silicate, starch Friable Damage, cutting, deterioration
Paper tape Furnaces, steam valves, flanges, electrical wiring 80 1901-1980? Polymers, starches, silicates Friable Tearing, deterioration
Putty (mudding) Plumbing joints 20-100 1900-1973 Clay Friable Water damage, cutting, deterioration

Asbestos Removal

Asbestos Containing Floor Tile and Linoleum

  • Obtain a permit from Air Quality, and keep it posted on the work site at all times.
  • Thoroughly wet the floor covering prior to removal operations.
  • Keep floor covering wet during removal.
  • Remove tiles in whole pieces, or linoleum in large sections. (minimal breakage is allowed).
  • Place wet material in 6-mil poly bags, or wrap in 6-mil poly sheeting immediately after removal. Seal bags or sheets with duct tape. Contained material should not leak.
  • Transport material to landfill as soon as possible to keep floor covering from becoming dry. The landfill will need to keep one copy of your permit for their disposal records.
  • DO NOT remove floor covering in a dry manner.
  • DO NOT allow floor material to remain uncontained, or to dry out at any time.
  • DO NOT allow contained floor material to poke or tear wholes in the 6-mil poly bags or sheets.

Asbestos Containing Transite Siding

  • Obtain a permit from the Air Quality Agency.
  • Use a hose or garden sprayer to keep shingles wet at all times during removal.
  • Remove shingles in whole pieces by cutting nail heads, or pulling nails from house.
  • Begin at the top of the house, and work across the rows, and then down to the bottom.
  • Spread 6-mil poly sheeting along ground at base of house to catch any pieces that may break during removal.
  • Gently lower shingles to ground in whole pieces.
  • Keeping shingles wet, stack them and wrap them in 6-mil poly (wrapped shingles may be placed in corrugated boxes for ease of handling.)
  • Clean up area around house to collect pieces not contained on the poly sheeting.
  • Deliver shingles to the County landfill, along with a copy of removal permit.
  • DO NOT break the shingles off the house by pounding on them with a hammer or crowbar.
  • DO NOT place shingles loose in the back of a pickup or dump truck.
  • DO NOT leave pieces of shingles on the ground after removal.

Locate & Contact

WNC Air Quality & Asbestos and Demolition Permit Office

Contact

Mike Matthews
Senior Air Quality Specialist
P: (828) 250-6776
F: (828) 250-6222

*For immediate assistance, please call instead of using email.

Asbestos and Demolition Permit Office
30 Valley Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.