“There are 1,970 buildings on-base (including 1,641 housing units) with a total square footage of floor space of 4,629,926, approximately 10 percent of which has been surveyed for asbestos. Forty percent of those facilities tested had asbestos containing materials (ACM) (80% nonfriable, 20% friable).” Page 11
Title: A Preliminary Review of Environmental Requirements and Concerns Based on the Proposed Closure of George Air Force Base, California
Corporate Author: DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE WASHINGTON DC
Report Date: FEB 1989
At virtually all military installations, asbestos will sooner or later create environmental, safety and legal issues. In years past, asbestos was so widely used in construction materials that it is presumed present in structures built prior to 1980.1 The statutes and regulations that today address the potential hazards of asbestos are part of a complex, piecemeal and overlapping scheme to control toxic substances in general. The purpose of this article is to provide a basic familiarization with asbestos, highlight relevant statutory and regulatory provisions, illustrate their application to asbestos remediation, discuss the degree to which federal facility operators are subject to potential civil and criminal liability, and suggest ways in which proactive stances may be taken lo preclude any such liabilities.
From the 1970s there was increasing concern about the dangers of asbestos, and its use was phased out. Mining ceased in 1983. The use of asbestos was phased out in 1989 and banned entirely in December 2003.
Definition Friable Asbestos
Friable Asbestos is any material that contains more than one percent asbestos by weight or area, depending on whether it is a bulk or sheet material and can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by the pressure of an ordinary human hand.
Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure
Chronic exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma, and nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders. Evidence in humans comes from epidemiologic studies as well as numerous studies of workers exposed to asbestos in a variety of occupational settings. Tremolite asbestos exposure has been associated with an increased incidence of disease in vermiculite miners and millers from Libby, Montana. This evidence is supported by reports of increased incidences of nonmalignant respiratory diseases, lung cancer, and mesothelioma in villages in various regions of the world that have traditionally used tremolite-asbestos whitewashes in homes or have high surface deposits of tremolite asbestos and by results from animal studies.
Source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry