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Air Quality

Asbestos

Summary and guideline information on renovations, demolitions, and regulations dealing with asbestos.

Note: This information should serve as a guide only and is not intended to replace the regulations. For additional information concerning state and federal asbestos regulations, contact DHEC's Asbestos Section at (803) 898-4289. Information regarding the OSHA asbestos standards may be obtained from the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation at (803) 896-7665.

Please use the links below for more information. Move your mouse cursor over the words with DOUBLE UNDERLINES for to learn more about them.

Renovations & Demolitions

Renovation means altering a facility or one or more facility components in any way, including the stripping or removal of regulated asbestos-containing materials (RACM) from a facility component. "Remodeling" is considered renovation.

Demolition is wrecking or taking out any load-supporting structural member of a facility together and any related handling operations. Structural burns are prohibited by State Open Burning Regulations.

Renovation and demolition of most facilities (including buildings, structures, and other installations), are subject to State and Federal asbestos regulations. Certain residential buildings may be exempt. Please refer to the Residential Demolition page listed above for additional information

All asbestos-containing materials must be removed from a facility prior to demolition. Only the following asbestos-containing materials (ACM) may be left in place during demolition:

  • ACM on a facility component that is encased in concrete or other similarly hard material and is adequately wet whenever exposed during demolition
  • RACM that was not accessible for testing and was, therefore, not discovered until after demolition began and, as a result of the demolition, cannot be safely removed. If not removed for safety reasons, all exposed RACM and any asbestos-contaminated debris must be treated as regulated asbestos-containing waste material. Category I and Category II nonfriable mastic, glue, and adhesive ACM that is not friable or in poor condition, and where the probability is low that the materials will become crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder during demolition operations.
  • Category I and Category II nonfriable mastic, glue, and adhesive ACM that is not friable or in poor condition, and where the probability is low that the materials will become crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder during demolition operations.

The facility owner and the renovation or demolition contractor are both responsible for ensuring compliance with these regulations.

Notification of Renovations & Demolitions

Prior to removing regulated asbestos-containing materials, written notification must be submitted to DHEC (up to 10 working days in advance, depending on the amount of asbestos to be removed). The notification must include certain required items of information about the owner, the contractor, the facility, and the asbestos removal project. Required fees must be submitted along with the notification. You must obtain a permit from the Department prior to the renovation activity.

Prior to the demolition of any regulated facility, written notification must be submitted to DHEC at least 10 working days in advance even if a building inspector determines that asbestos is not present at the facility. The notification must include certain required items of information about the owner, the contractor, the facility, and the demolition project. Required fees and a copy of the building inspector's report must be submitted along with the notification of demolition. You must obtain a permit from the Department prior to the demolition activity.

Building Inspections

Before a facility or a portion of a facility is renovated or demolished, the owner/operator of the facility or renovation or demolition activity must ensure that the facility or portion of the facility being renovated or demolished has been thoroughly inspected for the presence of asbestos. The inspection must be performed by a person who has been trained and licensed as an Asbestos Building Inspector or management planner in accordance with State training and licensing requirements.

The inspector must identify, quantify, and assess the condition of all suspect asbestos-containing material, either friable or non-friable, on interior and exterior portions of the facility. The inspector must also comply with the procedures specified in Regulation 61-86.1 VI D. In addition, the inspector is required to prepare a written report detailing the findings of the inspection. At a minimum, the report must include information required in Regulation 61-86.1 VI C. A legible copy of the building inspection report must be provided to the Department prior to each demolition, and upon request for renovations. (Note: " BUILDING INSPECTIONS "can be consulted for a detailed explanation of the aforementioned sampling and reporting protocols.)

A building inspection will only be acceptable if performed within three years prior to the demolition or renovation. If an inspection report is more than three years old, then it must be confirmed and verified by a licensed Asbestos Building Inspector or Management Planner.

Building Inspection Report Directions (pdf)

As required by the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) and Regulation 61-86.1, an owner/operator shall ensure that a building inspection, to detect the presence of asbestos-containing material (ACM), has been performed prior to any renovation or demolition activity at a regulated facility.

Under Regulation 61-86.1, Section VI.A.6., an inspection cannot have been performed more than three years prior to a renovation or demolition activity. If more than three years have elapsed since the most recent inspection, the previous inspection shall be confirmed and verified by a licensed building inspector and/or management planner.

Regulation 61-86.1 requires that all inspections be performed by persons trained and licensed as either a building inspector and/or management planner. In order to be licensed in these disciplines, persons must have successfully completed a DHEC approved initial training course specific to inspecting for ACM in a building and/or a course specific to management planning for ACM in a building. Persons must also have taken and passed an examination at the end of the course with a score of 70 percent or above.

In performing inspections, Regulation 61-86.1 requires that a building inspector and/or management planner comply with the requirements of Section VI, Asbestos Building Inspection Requirements. An inspection shall include samples from suspect friable and non-friable ACM on interior and exterior portions of a facility or its facility components.

In performing inspections, Regulation 61-86.1 requires that a building inspector and/or management planner follow specific sampling procedures. According to Section IV.B.3.a of the regulation, a building inspector and/or management planner shall comply with the procedures specified in 40 CFR 763.86 in determining sampling locations and the number of representative samples to be collected. An inspection shall include samples from suspect friable and non-friable ACM on interior and exterior portions of a facility or its facility components.

Under 40 CFR Part 763.86, suspect ACM are divided into three categories: surfacing materials, thermal system insulation (commonly referred to as TSI), and miscellaneous materials. Regulation 61-86.1, Section VI contains sampling procedures specific to each category of material.

Surfacing material includes, but is not limited to, joint compound, plaster, and painted, troweled on, or spray-applied textured material. To remain in compliance with Regulation 61-86.1, surfacing materials on exterior and interior portions of a facility shall be sampled according to procedures outlined in Regulation 61-86.1, Section VI.D.1. (a)-(c):

  • A licensed asbestos inspector shall collect, in a statistically random manner, a minimum of three bulk samples from each homogeneous area of any surfacing that is not assumed to be ACM, and shall collect the samples as follows:
    • At least three bulk samples shall be collected from each homogeneous area that is 1,000 or fewer square feet (sf) or linear feet (Lf) in size.
    • At least five bulk samples shall be collected from each homogeneous area that is greater than 1,000 but fewer than or equal to 5,000 sf or Lf.
    • At least seven bulk samples shall be collected from each homogeneous area that is greater than 5,000 sf or Lf.

Thermal System Insulation (TSI) is any material that is applied to pipes, fittings, boilers, breeching, tanks, ducts, or other facility components for the purpose of preventing heat loss or gain, water condensation, or for other purposes. Miscellaneous Material is any material that is not considered a surfacing material or thermal system insulation and includes, but is not limited to, flooring, roofing, mastics, gaskets, cementitious materials, caulkings, ceiling tiles, fire doors, wall boards, and flexible duct connections. To remain in compliance with Regulation 61-86.1, TSI and miscellaneous materials on exterior and interior portions of a facility shall be sampled in accordance with procedures outlined in Regulation 61-86.1, Section VI.D.2:

  • A licensed asbestos inspector shall collect, in a statistically random manner, at least three bulk samples from each homogeneous area of TSI and any miscellaneous material that is not assumed to be ACM.
  • In accordance with ASTM E2356, and any subsequent amendments and editions, negative results for non-friable organically bound material (NOB) shall be verified with at least one TEM analysis.
  • NOBs include flooring, roofing, mastics, adhesives, caulks, and glazing.
  • If an accredited inspector has determined the thermal system insulation to be fiberglass, foam glass, rubber, or other non-suspect material, then bulk samples are not required.

Regulation 61-86.1, Section VI.C requires that a building inspector and/or management planner prepare a written asbestos building inspection report to include the following:

  • A title page denoting:
    1. The client's name, company, address, and telephone number, and the name and exact location of the facility inspected;
    2. the date the inspection was performed;
    3. the date the inspection report was written; and
    4. the printed name and telephone number of the inspector(s), and his or her affiliated company name, address, and telephone number.
  • A cover letter to the building owner or owner's representative that describes the purpose of the inspection; a general synopsis of the inspection and results; and the name, title, and signature of the inspector(s) and report writer, if different.
  • A detailed narrative of the physical description of the building or part of the building affected by the renovation or demolition operation that includes:
    1. The square footage of the building or part of the building affected by the renovation or demolition operation;
    2. The building materials used in the construction of the exterior, roof, interior, and basement or crawlspace of the building affected by the demolition or affected by the renovation materials operation;
    3. An estimated or exact quantity (square or linear feet) for all suspect materials whether sampled for or assumed to be asbestos that may be affected by the renovation or demolition operation;
    4. Also include a description of non-suspect materials excluding: glass, metals, kiln brick, cement, fiberglass, concrete, pressed wood, cinder block, and rubber.
  • An executive summary that details:
    1. The type of suspect ACM (e.g., TSI, floor tile, mastic), total square or linear footage, and the total number of samples collected for each separate homogenous area affected by the renovation or demolition operation;
    2. The date of the inspection, type, condition, quantity, sample results, and exact location of ACM positively identified or assumed to be ACM in the part of the building affected by the renovation or demolition operation;
    3. A list of the homogeneous areas identified;
    4. Whether the material is accessible for the building or part of the building affected by the renovation or demolition operation; and (5) The material's potential for disturbance for the building or part of the building affected by the renovation or demolition operation.
  • For renovation and demolition operations, the inspector's determination that ACM is friable or non-friable.
  • Except when suspect ACM materials are assumed to be asbestos, include a complete, clear, legible copy of all laboratory bulk sample results.
  • Clear, legible drawings and/or photographs to clarify the scope of the renovation or demolition operation. Illustrate the exact location of each sample collected. For facilities that involve a trade secret or confidential component or an affected area process, a request for a variance may be submitted.
  • The printed name and signature of each accredited inspector who collected the samples, and a clear legible copy of his or her DHEC issued asbestos building inspector or management planner license.

Things to Note:

  • At no time will negative assumptions about a suspect material's content be acceptable. There are only two acceptable options:
    1. Positive assumptions of suspect materials or
    2. Sampling of suspect materials per the procedures specified in 40 CFR 763.86
  • A homogenous area is considered not to contain ACM only if the results of all samples required to be collected from the area are one percent or less.
  • Bulk samples shall not be composited for analysis.
  • In a multi-unit building, each separate room in each part of the building or areas affected by the renovation or demolition operation shall be inspected to confirm and quantify ACM homogeneous areas for sampling purposes.
  • DHEC will not accept an asbestos building inspection or written report for any structure from an employee of an abatement company also involved in the removal of asbestos-containing materials from that structure, unless the licensed inspector is an employee of an entity regulated under Regulation 61-86.1, Section XX, Industrial Manufacturing and Electrical Generation Facilities.
  • An asbestos building inspector shall not participate in the analysis of the bulk samples he or she has collected.
  • Destructive sampling techniques shall be utilized.
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), statements from the manufacturer, and architecture signoff will not be accepted as proof that a building product contains no asbestos, except in cases where the owner can verify the direct correlation of the building product to the MSDS, statements from the manufacturer, and/or architecture signoff documents. DHEC reserves the right to reject documentation that it deems unacceptable.

Asbestos Flooring, Roofing & Cement Products

Consult this section for helpful information on the removal and handling of asbestos-containing flooring, roofing, and cement products.

Asbestos-containing material (ACM) typically include flooring, roofing, and cement products. Usually these materials are considered non-friable when subjected to specific controlled work practices. However, even non-friable materials can become friable if they are crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by the forces which act on them during renovation and demolition operations. Materials may also become friable due to excessive weathering and aging. With few exceptions, removal of materials that are friable or are likely to become friable is subject to State and Federal asbestos abatement regulations. Work done at private residences is not regulated unless performed by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor.

Flooring (Asphalt tile, vinyl tile, vinyl sheet flooring, etc.)

Using destructive methods to remove asbestos-containing flooring materials cause it to become friable and therefore regulated. For example asbestos-containing floor tiles that are manually or mechanically chipped from the floor are subject to the regulatory requirements for regulated asbestos-containing materials. Asbestos-containing vinyl sheet flooring that must be cut or ripped during removal are also subject to the regulatory requirements for regulated asbestos-containing materials.

It may be possible to remove asbestos-containing floor tiles in whole pieces to avoid rendering them regulated. For example, heating floor tiles with infrared equipment or a heat gun to release the tile from the softened mastic may allow the tiles to be pulled up. Direct heat, such as use of a blow torch, is not an acceptable removal technique since it involves burning of the asbestos containing material. Freezing (in well ventilated areas only ) asbestos-containing floor tiles with pulverized dry ice may be used to contract the tiles and detach them from the sub-floor, however, these frozen tiles must be handled with care as they may be brittle. Flooding an area with water may, over time, loosen tiles and allow them to be lifted. However, chipping tiles on a flooded floor (even under water) is a regulated activity.

Asbestos-containing mastic can be removed using citrus-based or petroleum-based cleaners. (Solvent-contaminated residues are subject to Hazardous Waste Management Regulations if they have a flash point of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Petroleum-based solvents are generally not recommended because they may contain components which cause wastes to be categorized as hazardous wastes, regardless of flash point).

An acceptable alternative to removal may be to install new flooring directly over the existing flooring provided it is in good condition and not chipped or crumbled. Records of the concealed floorings existence underneath the new layer of flooring should be kept to prevent unintentional disturbances of the material during future renovation or demolition activities.

Roofing (Asphalt shingles, felts, flashings, etc.)

Using a roofing saw or cutter on a built-up roof which contains asbestos causes the material to become friable since asbestos-containing dust is created. Other destuctive methods such as cutting or grinding roof materials also cause the material to become friable, therefore, subjecting the material to regulatory requirements.

Using a roofing knife or other device to slice (but not saw or crumble) roof material, such as asbestos felt, is not likely to generate dust and should not cause the material to become friable.

Cement Products (Transite siding, exterior siding, cementitious roofing shingles, etc.)

Avoid breaking, chipping, sawing, or grinding asbestos cement products. Where possible, cement siding and roofing materials should be removed by extracting any nails or screws and then lowering the material carefully to the ground to prevent breakage.

Disposal

Never burn any asbestos-containing waste material.

Non-asbestos-containing demolition debris and debris which contains only non-regulated roofing or flooring may be disposed of at a DHEC-approved disposal site for cellulosic or inert waste. Waste consolidation activities involving grinding, cutting, or compacting of non-friable asbestos-containing materials will subject these materials to more stringent State and Federal asbestos disposal regulations.

Regulated asbestos waste must be handled by properly licensed asbestos abatement personnel and disposed of at a landfill permitted to accept regulated asbestos waste. A list of approved landfills may be obtained from the Asbestos Section.

Friable Asbestos Containing Materials

If friable asbestos-containing materials (e.g., pipe insulation) are present, they must be removed prior to being disturbed during renovation or demolition activities. Removal (abatement) must be performed by trained, licensed persons using procedures detailed in State and Federal regulations.

A project design must be prepared for each asbestos abatement project involving the abatement of greater than 3,000 square feet, 1,500 linear feet and/or 656 cubic feet of RACM in a facility to be reoccupied. Such designs must be prepared by a person licensed by DHEC as an Asbestos Project Designer.

Non-Friable Asbestos Containing Materials

Please note that when it can reasonably be expected that non-friable materials will become friable during removal, that these materials must be considered friable from the beginning. If non-friable Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) becomes friable during an abatement project, the removal becomes subject to the same requirements as friable materials, including training, licensing, notification, and work practices.

  • Material should always be lowered to the ground carefully. Throwing or dropping non-friable ACM to the ground or into a truck will cause the material to become friable.
  • Materials should be kept wet or misted with water during removal to minimize potential fiber release. NOTE: The use of water is only a control measure and by no means prevents a material from becoming friable.
  • Once removed, materials may be placed in 6-mil polyethylene bags or drums or wrapped with 6-mil polyethylene sheeting. Additional water may be added to ensure thorough wetting, but do not add so much that the bag or wrapping breaks when lifted.
  • Debris already on the ground should be wet and either collected manually or gathered with a shovel and bagged for disposal. These materials can be potential sources of airborne asbestos fiber releases.
  • South Carolina Regulation 61-86.1 requires that containers (bags, drums, wrapped components) holding asbestos waste must be labeled with the following: DANGER - CONTAINS ASBESTOS FIBERS - AVOID CREATING DUST - CANCER AND LUNG DISEASE HAZARD.
  • Materials should be taken to a landfill as soon as possible but may be stored temporarily in a secure area subject to Departmental approval. Transport the materials so as to prevent them from leaking, spilling, or blowing off the vehicle.
  • You should contact the landfill directly to make sure it will accept the material. You must obtain written approval from DHEC in advance for the disposal. You can get this approval by writing to the following address:

    South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
    Attn: Bureau of Air Quality/Asbestos Section

    2600 Bull Street Columbia, SC 29201

    Be sure to include the following:

    1. the address where the material is to be removed;
    2. a brief description of the content (cement-like tiles, asphaltic shingles, etc.);
    3. the volume of waste in cubic yards or the area in square feet of material removed, and;
    4. the name and location of the landfill which has agreed to accept the waste.

    Please remember to include your name, return address, and phone number.

  • DO NOT BURN OR RECYCLE any asbestos-containing or asbestos-contaminated materials.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has rules for workers affected by asbestos-containing materials. These rules must be complied with by all contractors and facility owners and include specific work practices, respiratory protection, and asbestos training requirements, even for activities involving only non-friable asbestos-containing materials. Contact the Department of Labor at (803) 896-7665 for details.
  • Please contact DHEC at (803) 898-4289 if you need additional information or assistance regarding asbestos or asbestos removal requirements or regulations.

Residential Demolition

The demolition of a private residence containing four or fewer units (i.e., single family home, duplex) is exempt unless the following conditions apply:

  • The demolition is part of a larger commercial or public project, such as, but not limited to, highway construction; development of a shopping mall, industrial facility, other private development; or urban renewal, etc.
  • The demolition involves multiple private residences within a compact area ("city block") under the ownership and/or control of a single owner and/or operator. Examples would be a municipality clearing a block of houses for urban renewal purposes or SCDOT clearing a row of houses for a highway-right-of-way project.
  • The residence is part of an installation such as a military facility, university campus, etc.
  • The residence is being burned for fire training.
  • The residence has been used in the past for non-residential purposes.

For more information please contact the Bureau of Air Quality at (803) 898-4123 or by email.