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Asbestos Management Program

Asbestos Management Program

Asbestos Management Program
What is Asbestos?

  • Asbestos is a general term referring to six naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals.
  • Asbestos was used largely in manufacturing and building insulation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Asbestos was used because of its high tensile strength, flexibility, resistance to heat and corrosive chemicals.

What are the risks associated with asbestos?

  • Asbestos is a known carcinogen (cancer causing agent).
  • The danger of asbestos exposure can occur when asbestos fibers are released into the air they can be inhaled or swallowed.
  • Asbestos has no smell or taste and asbestos fibers are so small that they may not be visible to the naked eye.
  • The fibers can lodge in the lung or other body tissues and over time lead to the development of diseases.
  • Inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer) and asbestosis (a progressive disease of the lungs caused by heavy exposure to asbestos).
  • The symptoms of these diseases, however, can take 30 to 40 years to appear.

Where is Asbestos at ASU?

  • Many of ASU University’s buildings constructed prior to 1985 contain asbestos in floor tiles, pipe insulation, roofing, ceiling textures, etc.
  • Asbestos becomes a health risk when the materials are disturbed and microscopic asbestos fibers become airborne and are inhaled.
  • When left alone and remain undamaged, the materials present little to no health risk.
  • ASU asbestos policy is “Management in-place” meaning that asbestos is removed only when necessary, e.g., when buildings are renovated or damaged.

Current Tempe Campus Asbestos Inventory

If you have further questions contact EH&S.