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Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil and has been nicknamed the miracle fiber because of its indestructability.  Due to its fiber strength and heat resistance, asbestos has been used in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire retardant.  A few of the more common building materials that asbestos is found include:  attic and wall insulation, vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives, roofing and siding shingles, textured paint and patching compounds used on walls and ceilings, and hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.

Asbestos is a very serious issue because of the potential health issues and liability issues.  Regulatory agencies such as USEPA, OSHA, DOT, and State and local authorities have rules and regulations in place to protect citizens from exposure to asbestos.  As a restoration contractor, insurance adjuster, and as the building owner/manager, it is important to comply with all the regulations to avoid or prevent fines, jail time, or law suits.

One of the common questions that is asked during a restoration project is “why do I need to have an asbestos survey done, this property was built after 1978?” According to Texas Administrative Code, “before operations and maintenance, renovation, or demolition, the public building owner is required to have an asbestos survey preformed, identify the presence of asbestos, and have ACBM that may be disturbed by the operations and maintenance, renovation, or demolition activity abated.

Below are a few rules taken directly from the Texas Administrative Code in regards to asbestos management in a public building, Commercial building, or Facility: Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 296, Subchapter K, Rule 296.191.

“(d) Mandatory survey for ACBM before renovation or demolition.

(1) Before any renovation or dismantling outside of or within a public building, commercial building, or facility, including preparations for partial or complete demolition, the owner must have an asbestos survey performed.

(2) The work area and all immediately surrounding areas that could foreseeably be disturbed by the actions necessary to perform the project must be thoroughly surveyed and, as applicable, sampled before renovation or demolition.

The code goes on to state:

(6) In a public building, the mandatory survey requirement must be met in one of the following two ways.

(A) A person appropriately licensed as required in this chapter and the Act performs a survey which conforms to generally accepted industry standards, such as the AHERA requirements specified in 40 CFR Part 763, Subpart E (relating to Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools), §§763.85 – 763.88, the required method for schools. The licensee must prepare a survey report that includes the contents described in §296.21(93) of this chapter. To demonstrate that there is no ACBM, the licensed individual must collect a minimum of three samples from each suspect homogeneous area.

(B) A Texas-registered architect or a Texas-licensed professional engineer certifies that the architect or engineer has compiled and reviewed the information from MSDSs and SDSs of the materials used in the original construction of the building and the renovations or alterations of all parts of the building affected by the planned renovation or demolition, matches the MSDSs and SDSs to materials on-site, reviews any asbestos survey reports of the building previously conducted as required at the time of the survey, and certifies that in the architect’s or engineer’s professional opinion, no part of the building, including the building materials, affected by the planned renovation or demolition contain asbestos. This certification must also clearly identify the name of the building, the street address and specific area of the building that applies to the certification, the survey report date of each previous asbestos survey report reviewed, whether the relevant work was new construction or renovation, and the specific dates of completion of all original construction and renovations or alterations that apply to the certification. A Texas-registered architect must prepare this certification in accordance with the rules of professional conduct in 22 TAC Chapter 1. A Texas-licensed professional engineer must prepare this certification in accordance with the rules of professional conduct in 22 TAC Chapter 137. A complaint that a certification was not performed as required in this paragraph will be referred to the Texas licensing boards or another government agency with jurisdiction over the complaint as needed. A building owner that meets the mandatory survey requirement, as described in this subparagraph, must keep the certification, copies of the MSDSs or SDSs or both, and any previous asbestos surveys as required in §296.291(j) of this chapter (relating to Recordkeeping) that were reviewed by the architect or engineer. A certification prepared as described in this paragraph does not meet the OSHA or NESHAP requirement for an asbestos survey.”

To find more information on asbestos, click on the following link: Texas Administrative Code (
Until next time my friends, be prepared and stay safe.

Reference: EPA and Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 296, Subchapter K, Rule 296.191