What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a group of six naturally-occurring silicate minerals, including serpentine (or chrysotile),
riebeckite (crocidolite), cummingtonite-gunerite (amosite), anthophyllite, actinolite or tremolite.
These minerals have been actively mined for their physical properties such as their resistance to heat,
electrical and chemical damage, sound absorption and tensile strength; thereby making their applicability widespread throughout various
industries such as manufacturing and primarily in building construction
for its flame retardant and insulating properties.
The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses that are
strongly associated with exposure to asbestos.
Airborne asbestos fibers are a significant health threat because asbestos fibers are microscopic and invisible to the unaided eye.
In addition, they have the physical characteristics
to bypass the ability of the human lung to filter air contaminants. As a result, exposure
to asbestos allow the fibers to reach deep within the lungs, and may irritate
and scar lung tissues. Long-term chronic and acute exposure to asbestos fibers may cause respiratory diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Asbestos containing materials become a health hazard once they are
disturbed. Intact, asbestos fibers imbedded within construction
materials and components are inert and do not pose a health hazard; however, once
they are disturbed, through physical contact or building renovation
and demolition activities, asbestos fibers may be rendered
AQMD Rule 1403
AQMD Rule 1403, adopted by the
SCAQMD on October 6, 1989, establishes
Requirements, notification and work practice
requirements to prevent asbestos emissions
from emanating during building renovation and demolition activities.
Asbestos is a carcinogen and is categorized as a hazardous air
pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As such, AQMD Rule 1403 incorporates the requirements
of the federal asbestos requirements found in National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants
found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 40, Part 61,
The EPA delegated to SCAQMD the authority to enforce the federal
asbestos NESHAP and the SCAQMD is the local enforcement authority for