Wyoming (WY) Asbestos Removal & Abatement Resources:

The Wyoming Department of Environment Quality defines the terms ‘asbestos containing solid wastes,’ or ‘asbestos’ as "solid wastes containing greater than a one percent by weight asbestos in any of the asbestiforn varieties of: chrysotile, amosite, crocidolit, anthophyllite, antinolite, or tremolite" (4).  Asbestos containing products are classified into two categories: friable and non-friable asbestos.  Friable asbestos is asbestos that can be crumbled or reduced to dust by the pressure of a hand (4). Some examples of friable asbestos containing products that Wyoming recognizes are thermal insulation, preformed pipe coverings, pipeline wrap, millboard and rollboard used in construction materials such as walls and ceilings, commercial insulating papers, corrugated asbestos papers, plaster, stucco, artificial snow, spackle, and joint patching compounds (4).  Non-friable asbestos is asbestos containing material that cannot be crushed by hand pressure and are not considered an immediate health threat; however, items that were previously considered non-friable can be classified as friable when the material is damaged (4). Some examples of non-friable asbestos containing materials that the Vermont Department of Environmental Quality include asbestos cement piping, asbestos cement sheeting, some brake linings, vinyl flooring, asphalt roof coverings, molded plastic products like cooking pot handles or plastic laboratory sinks, roofing felt, fire resistant cloth, and other items (4).

Because so many of these products are used in the construction of homes, damaged asbestos containing materials can become a health threat to those who are exposed to it, as it is well known that airborne asbestos fibers can be ingested or inhaled and result in the development of serious lung diseases, and mesothelioma. For this reason, the demolition or renovation of a building may create significant damage to asbestos containing materials and create a dangerous and intense exposure to asbestos.  Many people choose to have their homes and businesses inspected for potential asbestos containing materials when they are planning renovations and demolitions to ensure that any asbestos is properly abated, preventing them putting their families and employees at risk.

Asbestos Professionals

Because the handling of asbestos is so dangerous, asbestos workers must go through regulated training to receive their licenses, and no asbestos containing material shall be handled at a regulated facility unless they have successfully completed all training.  The Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act (ASHARA) training is considered acceptable in meeting this requirement (2).  All workers performing asbestos operations must complete refresher training annually to stay licensed (2).  The required training must include at least:  applicability, notifications, material identification, control procedures for removals including, at least, wetting, local exhaust ventilation, negative pressure enclosures, glove-bag procedures, and High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, waste disposal work practices, reporting and recordkeeping, and asbestos hazards and worker protection (2).  Evidence that the required training has been completed shall be posted and made available for inspection by the Administrator at the demolition or renovation site. (1)

Asbestos Abatement

Before demolition or renovation that could damage to asbestos containing materials, it is necessary that all of the material is removed from the site.  During the abatement process, the asbestos must be removed by certified, licensed professionals to ensure that all safety   precautions set by the United States and the state of Vermont are taken (4). For example, when a component containing asbestos is to be removed from a building, it must be removed in large units and thoroughly wetted before removal (4).  Once removed, the pieces must be carefully lowered to the floor to prevent further damage and placed in approved airtight containers (4).  These are only a few of the safety precautions that are taken to reduce the emission of airborne asbestos fibers.

Asbestos Waste Removal

After the abatement has been completed adhering to strict standards, it is the responsibility of the contractor to arrange for the proper disposal of the waste.  First the proper notification to either the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the Air Quality Division must be submitted when any friable asbestos wastes have resulted from a removal or renovation activity; however, homeowners are permitted to dispose of nonfriable asbestos wastes at local landfill (3). All homeowners will need to make prior arrangements with the landfill before disposing of the waste (3). Some landfills are not be permitted to dispose of friable asbestos wastes, so sometimes it may be necessary to hire a contractor to have this done at another disposal site (3). It is also necessary to contact your local landfill owner/operator for suggestions on how to properly dispose of friable asbestos waste (3).  It is required that all materials that are to be disposed of be properly contained in airtight, leakproof containers and carry the warning label "CAUTION. CONTAINS ASBESTOS FIBERS. AVOID OPENING OR BREAKING CONTAINER. BREATHING ASBESTOS IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH" (4). When asbestos abatement is completed by hired professionals, they will arrange and handle all waste removal according to state and federal guidelines.

Wyoming asbestos workers must adhere to many very specific federal and state laws regarding the proper handling of asbestos.  All professionals who work with asbestos complete rigorous training courses and annual refresher courses to ensure that they are aware of all of the most current regulations and safety precautions.  To avoid possible contamination of asbestos, it is always best to let a qualified asbestos worker test for and remove asbestos containing materials.  If you believe that there may be dangerous asbestos containing materials in your building, especially prior to a renovation or demolition, contact an inspector or consultant to discuss your particular options.

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