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Asbestos Basics

If you plan to do a renovation, please submit an Asbestos Survey Request Form to asbestos@mit.edu.


Asbestos Survey Request Form

If you have any questions regarding asbestos at the Institute, please call the Industrial Hygiene Program (IHP) in the Environment, Health and Safety Office at (617) 452-3477.

Asbestos in good condition is not an issue, but we should avoid disturbing potential asbestos containing materials when possible.

Basics

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber extensively used in building materials from the 1930’s until the 1970’s. It is resistant to heat, mechanical stress, and water. Asbestos fibers are only a hazard when they become airborne and are inhalable. Urban air, such as in Cambridge, may have asbestos fiber levels somewhere around 0.001 f/cm3. The OSHA permissible exposure limit is 0.1 f/cm3. Asbestos-containing materials are defined as containing more than 1% of asbestos in its composition.

If a building component contains asbestos and presents a hazard, the Department of Facilities will be contacted and the hazard will be repaired or abated. If the material in question is a laboratory item, IHP will provide you with the information you need to have the item properly disposed of.

Common locations where asbestos may be found include pipe insulation (with all fittings included), floor tiles, ceiling tiles, gasket materials, fire door fill, panels in cooling towers, and boiler insulation. There may even be asbestos clothing, such as asbestos gloves! Over three thousand products have been manufactured as asbestos-containing materials. Asbestos in good condition is not an issue.

Avoid disturbing possible asbestos-containing materials. All asbestos abatement at MIT is performed by outside vendors. These vendors are licensed asbestos abatement contractors. Asbestos signs and work areas are indications of ongoing abatement activities. There is an asbestos warning sign at the entrance to the abatement work area. Do not enter abatement areas when signs are posted. Every abatement activity at MIT is monitored by IHP or an outside environmental consultant who contracts with the Industrial Hygiene Program.

If you have any questions regarding asbestos OR PLAN TO DO A RENOVATION OR DEMOLITION at the Institute, call the Industrial Hygiene Program (IHP) in the Environment, Health and Safety Office at (617) 452-3477. Someone from the asbestos program will help you.

Asbestos Survey Request Form

This is what replaces the Asbestos Emergency Response section of the page

  • In the event of an emergency spill or release of asbestos-containing material, the MIT employee will do the following:
  • Exit the area; do NOT try to clean the material up.
  • Call EHS at 617-452-3477 or Operations after hours at 617-253-1500.
  • Contact your supervisor.
  • If possible, close off the space (inside) and post a warning “Do Not Enter” and “Call EHS at 617-452-3477 with any questions”.

A certified Asbestos Inspector from the EHS Asbestos Management Program will do the following upon notification, or on the following working day:

  • Survey the area and take samples of the material in question.
  • Analyze the samples for asbestos
  • Report the results to the supervisor.
  • Assist with any questions or concerns the supervisor may have in contracting an abatement contractor if necessary.

If the material is confirmed to be Asbestos-Containing, a member of the EHS Asbestos Management Program will contact the MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to request an emergency waiver same day, or on the next working day.
If the material is confirmed to not be Asbestos-Containing: facilitate the cleanup.

EHS Asbestos Management Program Personnel:

  • McAnneny, Brian – (617) 253-0165
  • Ettridge, Brendan – (781) 264-1614

Background

Events arise at MIT that require emergency demolition/renovation procedures that include the need to test for and/or manage any asbestos found in the affected environment.

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection defines “emergency demolition/renovation” as any operation that was not planned but results from a sudden unexpected event that requires the demolition/renovation of a structurally sound or unsound facility or facility component. This includes non-routine failures of equipment or structural components: pipe, duct, boiler, tank, turbine, furnace, etc. Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) is defined as any material containing more than 1% of asbestos.

If you have any questions regarding asbestos at the Institute, please call the Industrial Hygiene Program (IHP) in the Environment, Health and Safety Office at (617) 452-3477.

Asbestos in good condition is not an issue, but we should avoid disturbing potential asbestos containing materials when possible.

Basics

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber extensively used in building materials from the 1930’s until the 1970’s. It is resistant to heat, mechanical stress, and water. Asbestos fibers are only a hazard when they become airborne and are inhalable. Urban air, such as in Cambridge, may have asbestos fiber levels somewhere around 0.001 f/cm3. The OSHA permissible exposure limit is 0.1 f/cm3. Asbestos-containing materials are defined as containing more than 1% of asbestos in its composition.

If a building component contains asbestos and presents a hazard, the Department of Facilities will be contacted and the hazard will be repaired or abated. If the material in question is a laboratory item, IHP will provide you with the information you need to have the item properly disposed of.

Common locations where asbestos may be found include pipe insulation (with all fittings included), floor tiles, ceiling tiles, gasket materials, fire door fill, panels in cooling towers, and boiler insulation. There may even be asbestos clothing, such as asbestos gloves! Over three thousand products have been manufactured as asbestos-containing materials. Asbestos in good condition is not an issue.

Avoid disturbing possible asbestos-containing materials. All asbestos abatement at MIT is performed by outside vendors. These vendors are licensed asbestos abatement contractors. Asbestos signs and work areas are indications of ongoing abatement activities. There is an asbestos warning sign at the entrance to the abatement work area. Do not enter abatement areas when signs are posted. Every abatement activity at MIT is monitored by IHP or an outside environmental consultant who contracts with the Industrial Hygiene Program.

If you have any questions regarding asbestos OR PLAN TO DO A RENOVATION OR DEMOLITION at the Institute, call the Industrial Hygiene Program (IHP) in the Environment, Health and Safety Office at (617) 452-3477. Someone from the asbestos program will help you.

Asbestos Survey Request Form

This is what replaces the Asbestos Emergency Response section of the page

  • In the event of an emergency spill or release of asbestos-containing material, the MIT employee will do the following:
  • Exit the area; do NOT try to clean the material up.
  • Call EHS at 617-452-3477 or Operations after hours at 617-253-1500.
  • Contact your supervisor.
  • If possible, close off the space (inside) and post a warning “Do Not Enter” and “Call EHS at 617-452-3477 with any questions”.

A certified Asbestos Inspector from the EHS Asbestos Management Program will do the following upon notification, or on the following working day:

  • Survey the area and take samples of the material in question.
  • Analyze the samples for asbestos
  • Report the results to the supervisor.
  • Assist with any questions or concerns the supervisor may have in contracting an abatement contractor if necessary.

If the material is confirmed to be Asbestos-Containing, a member of the EHS Asbestos Management Program will contact the MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to request an emergency waiver same day, or on the next working day.
If the material is confirmed to not be Asbestos-Containing: facilitate the cleanup.

EHS Asbestos Management Program Personnel:

  • McAnneny, Brian – (617) 253-0165
  • Ettridge, Brendan – (781) 264-1614

Background

Events arise at MIT that require emergency demolition/renovation procedures that include the need to test for and/or manage any asbestos found in the affected environment.

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection defines “emergency demolition/renovation” as any operation that was not planned but results from a sudden unexpected event that requires the demolition/renovation of a structurally sound or unsound facility or facility component. This includes non-routine failures of equipment or structural components: pipe, duct, boiler, tank, turbine, furnace, etc. Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) is defined as any material containing more than 1% of asbestos.