State asbestos hazard management

The North Carolina Asbestos Hazard Management Program (AHMP) provides information to the public about the dangers of asbestos and how to control or eliminate exposure. The program is administered by the Health Hazards Control Unit (HHCU), which consists of industrial hygiene professionals who also accredit individuals that perform asbestos management. All individuals performing asbestos management in North Carolina must be accredited by the AHMP and any plans to demolish a building must be reported to the HHCU.

The Environmental Protection Agency rules mirror the HHCU in its requirements of inspection and notification prior to demolishing or renovating. These rules are in place to ensure that only accredited professionals handle asbestos, thereby preventing fatal asbestos exposure. Asbestos-containing materials must be removed from any building prior to demolition by accredited professionals.

Even if no asbestos is present, a Demolition Notification must be submitted to the HHCU. If asbestos is present, owners or operators are required to obtain an asbestos removal permit from the HHCU, if they plan to disturb more than 35 cubic feet, 160 square feet or 260 linear feet of asbestos-containing material. Accredited professionals know how to handle asbestos so that the dangerous fibers are not disturbed and released into the air.

The asbestos-containing materials must be kept adequately wet with no visible emissions and once removed from the building, they must be disposed of in an approved site. Approved asbestos disposal sites must have a natural barrier or a fence to keep out the public and warning signs. The asbestos is covered with non-asbestos containing materials at least once every 24 hours and a dust-suppressing agent to prevent it from becoming airborne.

Notifications and permit applications must be submitted ten days prior to starting the project and require an original signature. All of these requirements for demolition, renovation and removal help ensure that North Carolina residents do not suffer any harmful effects associated with asbestos exposure when undertaking demolition or renovation projects.