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The asbestiform (i.e., fibrous form) varieties of serpentine (Chrysotile), riebecktite (crocidolite), cummingtonite-grunerite (amosite), anthophyllite, actinolite, and tremolite.

Friable Asbestos
Asbestos containing material which can be crumbled to dust when dry, under hand pressure.

Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act. Promulgated under TSCA, this regulation required schools (K-12 public and private non-profit) be inspected for asbestos . It also established training requirements for workers who would remove asbestos from the schools, and created the framework for Local Education Agencies (LEA's) to establish asbestos Management Plans. A subsequent rule, ASHARA, established that asbestos related work performed in public and commercial buildings would be performed by personnel whose training meets the AHERA requirements.

Guidelines which a contractor will follow in removing or otherwise abating asbestos containing materials. In California asbestos specifications are written by Certified Asbestos Consultants.

Certified Asbestos Consultant (CAC)
In California, an individual who by virtue of training, experience and passing a state administered test is certified to perform asbestos consulting activities.

Project Management
During abatement it is often prudent to have a professional representing the interests of the building owner to oversee the project.

The process of treating asbestos to reduce or remove its hazard potential. The three methods of abatement are removal, or taking the asbestos out; encasement, which is enclosing the asbestos behind or within an impermeable covering, and encapsulation, which is a process of "binding" the asbestos material with a liquid which subsequently dries and forms a "shell." Of the three methods, only removal is permanent!

Asbestos "bulk" sampling
Taking samples of materials to determine whether nor not it contains delectable asbestos. The EPA recommended method for analysis is Polarized Light Microscopy.

Polarized Light Microscopy
EPA recommended method for analyzing materials for the presence of asbestos. The method is often supplemented with techniques to remove other physical and chemical components of the sample and thus make the asbestos more readily visible.

Air Monitoring
Collecting samples of air for the purposes of determining the quantity of airborne fibers. Depending upon the method of analysis, either all fibers are counted, or only asbestos fibers. Air samples are collected either in the breathing zone of workers (personal air samples) or in large areas. During an abatement project it is customary to have air samples taken outside the work area to ensure and document that the asbestos fibers did not migrate to unprotected areas.

Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM)
Method of analysis for air samples which is required by OSHA for the determination of exposures to workers. The method does not distinguish asbestos from non-asbestos fibers. Engineering controls and personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers performing asbestos related work are triggered by the results of PCM air samples. Sometimes this method of analysis is used for post abatement monitoring, particularly for projects preceding demolition of structures.

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
Using a powerful electron beam microscope it is possible to distinguish asbestos from other fibers which have been collected during air monitoring. AHERA requires this method for determining if a school is "clean" after an asbestos abatement action. Another TEM method, Yamate II, is more stringent than AHERA because it does not limit the size of fiber which is counted. Yamate II is often the method of choice for analysis in occupied buildings other than schools.

HEPA Filter
High Efficiency Filter Absolute - capable of capturing 99.97% of fibers at the .3 micron size range. This filter is used during abatement and clean-up activities to ensure that asbestos fibers are captured and not spread into the environment.

Clearance Inspections and Clearance Monitoring
After an abatement action has taken place, it is prudent to have the work area inspected by an person independent of the contractor. This clearance inspection should be visual and tactile in nature, and should ensure that no residual asbestos fibers are remaining. Following the successful visual/tactile inspection, air monitoring should be performed to determine that the airborne fiber concentration within the removal area is less than or equal to the ambient (i.e., outside) air.