Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil1. It was widely used in many building materials including: insulation, ceiling tiles, flooring, and roofing materials, because the fibers are strong and fireproof. It is estimated that asbestos was used in more than 3,000 products in the United States. The EPA determined in the 1970's that inhaled asbestos fibers are hazardous and can potentially cause lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses, resulting in the regulation of materials containing asbestos. While some of these materials have been banned, many asbestos-containing materials are still being produced today.
Many buildings in use today still contain asbestos. Asbestos is hazardous if the fibers become airborne and are inhaled into the lungs. Materials that contain asbestos generally do not release asbestos fibers into the air unless they are disturbed. Any asbestos-containing material that can easily be crumbled by hand is potentially hazardous. Likewise, any demolition or renovation activity that removes or damages asbestos-containing material can be hazardous if safety precautions are not taken to prevent the release of asbestos fibers.
The Air Pollution Control Bureau (APCB) requires that an application form for an asbestos permit be completed and submitted to the Bureau 10 days in advance of any demolition project within Hamilton County, even if no asbestos is believed to be present. An asbestos survey performed by a state accredited asbestos inspector must be submitted with the application for demolition. The project is viewed as a whole and requires one application - multiple building demolitions will not receive individual permits if they are in the same project.
A demolition permit is required for:
- commercial or industrial demolitions and multi-unit buildings of more than four units
- a residential house that has been used for commercial purposes at any time during its existence
- the demolition of 2 or more houses during a project
- or a house that is demolished with other buildings.
Some renovation projects require that an application form be submitted to the APCB. This allows the Asbestos Coordinator to inspect the project and ensure that any asbestos-containing material is discovered and handled properly. A survey of the materials to be disturbed must be submitted with the application to determine if the project meets the requirements for a renovation permit.
A renovation permit is required for a commercial or industrial building when the removal of friable asbestos is more than 160 square feet or 260 linear feet.
Permit fees are required to be paid before the permit will be issued. The fees are on a sliding scale relative to the amount and type of asbestos in the project. Non-friable asbestos amounts of floor tile, sheet vinyl, mastic, and cement products are currently not counted against the fee schedule above the $200 minimum for asbestos removal. The APCB accepts cash or checks.
Check the website before each project to ensure that you are aware of any changes in asbestos regulations.