ES&H Manual



6681 Asbestos Management



1.0          Introduction


Asbestos is a broad term for several naturally-occurring mineral fibers.  It has a number of desirable properties:  strength, heat/chemical-resistance, and economy, for example.  Because of these properties, asbestos was used in hundreds of different applications by many different manufacturers over the last 100 years or so.  For most of the past century, it was virtually unheard of to construct a building, insulate high-temperature thermal systems, or fabricate friction products without the use of asbestos.  It was viewed as a miracle material, and it was often required by codes and standards.


Airborne asbestos fibers, when inhaled, can cause serious disease.  Many people who fabricated and installed asbestos-containing materials (ACM) died from occupational illnesses linked to their exposure to asbestos.  These diseases include asbestosis (a chronic condition involving lung scarring), lung cancer, and mesothelioma (a cancer of the membrane that lines the chest and abdomen).  Because of the hazards, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations now prohibit the manufacture and sale of most asbestos products.  Exceptions include a few specialty products for which no suitable substitute material has been found.


Asbestos’ disease-causing potential is directly related to its characteristic of splitting along the fiber axis into very thin, respirable-size fibers.  Respirable fibers are those that can elude the protective mechanisms in the upper respiratory tract and can penetrate deeply into the lungs.


Once there, they resist the body’s attempts to dissolve or remove them, causing irritation or cellular damage that may lead to the onset of disease.  The majority of respirable fibers are less than 20 microns (20 millionths of a meter) long, and they are invisible to the naked eye.


The absence or presence of visible dust is not a useful indicator of airborne asbestos levels.


Undamaged, asbestos in-place, whether a building product or a component of some piece of equipment, poses little risk.  However, disturbing asbestos materials, especially friable asbestos, without proper controls may lead to the release of airborne fibers.  The main objective of the stringent Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)/EPA regulations for asbestos and Jefferson Lab’s Asbestos Management Program is to minimize both environmental release and worker exposure to additional asbestos fibers.  Note additional.  There is no such thing as zero exposure.  Because asbestos was used for so many years, and so many asbestos materials have been subjected to wear and tear, uncontrolled demolition, and indiscriminate disposal, there is a certain level of asbestos fibers in the air we breathe daily.  It has become an ever-present air pollutant.

Asbestos removal and repair is a heavily regulated activity.  There are multiple federal, state, and sometimes local regulations that apply to asbestos work.  The nature of the work, amount of material involved, and the type or purpose of the structure determines which set of rules and laws apply.


Any work at Jefferson Lab that may damage the remaining asbestos building materials will proceed only after a qualified asbestos-abatement service has removed or protected the material.


2.0          Hazard Avoidance


·       Never intentionally damage materials that are known or suspected to be asbestos-containing.  Do not drill, abrade, or break ACM of any kind.  Heed warning signs posted on ACM in and around your workplace.

·       Report accidental ACM damage promptly to your ESH&Q staff or to the Jefferson Lab Asbestos Program Manager (ext. 7531).

·       Do not attempt to clean up damaged ACM yourself.  A conventional vacuum cleaner will spew respirable fibers through its filter into the air.  You may gently mist dislodged fragments with water and/or cover damaged materials with polyethylene sheeting while you await proper cleanup by trained personnel.

·       Do not dispose of any suspected ACM as ordinary trash; it must be handled as a special waste, much like hazardous waste.  Contact your ESH&Q staff or the Jefferson Lab Hazardous Waste Coordinator for assistance.

·       Avoid procuring or bringing onto the site any product known to contain asbestos.  Be especially cautious when procuring surplus or used equipment that may have been made before present-day awareness of asbestos hazards.  Some products that often had asbestos components:

-   laboratory fume hoods

-   heated cabinets for welding rods

-   industrial and laboratory ovens

-   sheet and rope-type gasketing

-   heat shields

-   lab workbench tops

-   high-temperature insulation on wiring

-   fire-resistant safes and file cabinets


·       There is a widely-held misconception that ACMs are no longer available.  Quite the contrary.  While most manufacturers of materials that once contained asbestos have substituted other materials, many products may still use asbestos.

·       If you have an unavoidable need for a piece of equipment or apparatus that has an asbestos component (a heat shield, for example), and there is no acceptable substitute, consult first with ESH&Q Division staff or the Jefferson Lab Asbestos Program Manager.  Ensure the equipment is suitably labeled to alert others to the potential hazard of disturbing the asbestos component.


Prohibited ACM Products


Authorized ACM Products

Corrugated paper


Asbestos clothing

Friction Materials

Commercial paper


Roofing felt

Brake linings

Flooring felt


Roof coating

Clutch facing

Roll board


Non-roof coatings

Disc brake pads

Specialty paper



Corrugated asbestos cement sheet

New uses of asbestos


Pipeline wrap

Flat asbestos cement sheet



Valve packings

Vinyl asbestos floor tile



Sealant tape

Asbestos cement pipes



Brake blocks

Asbestos cement shingles



Battery separators

Acetylene cylinder filler



Reinforced plastic

High-grade electrical paper



Textile products

Automatic transmission components




Asbestos diaphragms


·       If you suspect you have had significant exposure to asbestos dust in your work career, avoiding smoking is very important.  There is a strong synergistic relationship between asbestos exposure, smoking, and the likelihood of lung cancer.  You should inform your physician about this exposure.


3.0          Jefferson Lab’s Known Asbestos Materials


Jefferson Lab has no known friable ACM.  There are a number of non-friable Asbestos Containing Building Materials (ACBM) components and structures in or around older buildings that pre-date the present use of the site.  All materials are in good condition.


Table 1:  Known ACBM at Jefferson Lab

Test Lab (Bldg. 58)

Type of ACM




Within and adjacent to Test Cave

Round, asbestos-cement ducts in walls.  These range in size from about one foot to several feet in diameter, and are presently used for ventilation shafts and conduits for cable and waveguides

High roof: low structure at east end

Corrugated asbestos-cement siding panels

Exterior wall, ground level at east end

Corrugated asbestos-cement siding panels

Miscellaneous (roofing)

Inner surface of the high-roof parapet walls

Thick, asbestos-felt board

Forestry Building (Bldg. 19)

Type of ACM




Exterior walls

Asbestos-cement panels beneath the windows

VARC (Bldg. 28)

Type of ACM




Various rooms throughout the building

12x12-inch vinyl-asbestos floor tile (some concealed beneath carpet)


4.0          Responsibilities


4.1            Everyone at Jefferson Lab

·       Avoid disturbing ACM.  Report accidental damage promptly to ESH&Q staff or the Asbestos Program Manager (x7531).

·       Avoid introducing any new ACM onto the Jefferson Lab site.

·       Alert the Asbestos Program Manager if you encounter suspected, unidentified ACM at Jefferson Lab.


4.2            Asbestos Program Manager

·       Maintain the Jefferson Lab Asbestos Management Program and all related documentation.  This includes asbestos inspection and condition-assessment information, abatement project records, and air monitoring associated with asbestos actions.

·       Conduct surveillance inspections at least every 6-months of all known ACM on site.  Note any changes to condition or potential for damage.  Document this surveillance in the Asbestos Program.

·       Coordinate with Facilities Management any needed emergency services by asbestos abatement contractors.

·       Develop special operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures as required to minimize the risk that routine maintenance activities will disturb ACM.

·       Respond to reported incidents of damage to ACM.  Conduct assessment of conditions (to include air sampling as required) to ensure safety of building occupants.

·       Coordinate with Facilities Management special specifications for any renovation or demolition of ACM.  Review qualifications of asbestos abatement contractors.

·       Coordinate with the Jefferson Lab Hazardous Waste Coordinator the disposal of any asbestos waste.

·       Ensure occupants of buildings with known or suspected ACM are informed of that fact and of key elements of the O&M Plan.  Include safety wardens and/or building managers in such notifications.


4.3            ESH&Q Staff

·       Respond to calls from building occupants concerning damaged ACM.  Contact Asbestos Program Manager for action or assessment of conditions.


4.4            Facilities Management Director

·       Maintain current asbestos locations and cautionary notations in building drawings used for construction and renovation design.

·       Incorporate appropriate measures into maintenance activities and project design/specifications to avoid inadvertent damage to ACM.  If disturbance is unavoidable, properly address asbestos abatement as part of the overall project in coordination with the Asbestos Program Manager.

·       Provide qualified subcontractor services for asbestos abatement actions.

·       Ensure bid documents include notations of known ACM that could be affected by work activity.


5.0          Program Summary


5.1            Managing Asbestos In Place

In 1992 Jefferson Lab contracted for a comprehensive asbestos inspection to identify and assess the condition of any ACM on site.  Prior to that inspection, selected areas of concern and materials had been inspected, and all known friable materials had been removed through abatement actions.


Jefferson Lab also contracted for a management plan to ensure the remaining non-friable ACM remains in a safe condition.  This is accomplished primarily through a program of regular surveillance of the remaining materials by the Asbestos Program Manager, employee awareness, and by avoiding uncontrolled disturbance during maintenance or other work operations.  ACM that is accessible to employees is marked with special labels.  Master drawings in the Facilities Management CAD file system bear special notations alerting project designers to the presence of asbestos in those locations.


The Jefferson Lab Asbestos Management Plan and all related documentation are kept by the Asbestos Program Manager.  It is available for review by any interested Jefferson Lab employee.


5.2            Removal or Abatement of ACM

Should ACM removal be required because of renovation or major repair activities, planned asbestos-abatement actions shall be used.  These actions require rigorous project design, the use of licensed asbestos-removal subcontractors, and special work methods.


5.3            Disposal

Federal, state, and local regulations require that asbestos be handled and disposed of as a special waste.  This includes double-bagging with specially labeled, 6-mil polyethylene bags, manifesting the waste, and the use of licensed haulers and disposal facilities.  This also applies to equipment or apparatus that has an asbestos-containing component.  The Hazardous Waste Coordinator will assist in arranging proper disposal.


6.0          Revision Summary


Revision 0.1 03/13/14 Changed PoC from JKelly to DOwen to align with 2410T1 Hazard Issues List and CATS.












ESH&Q Division

Dick Owen





This document is controlled as an on line file.  It may be printed but the print copy is not a controlled document.  It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that the document is the same revision as the current on line file.  This copy was printed on 3/13/2014.