Asbestos


Asbestos is the name for a group of natural minerals that separate into strong, very fine fibers. Because it is heat resistant and extremely durable, asbestos has been used for thermal, acoustic, and decorative purposes, and to insulate boilers, pipes, and many construction materials and appliances.

Asbestos becomes a health hazard when it degrades into microscopic fibers. This can happen when asbestos material is crumbled, and is known as "friable" asbestos. Once emitted to the atmosphere, these fibers can remain suspended in the air for long periods of time, and can easily lodge in body tissues when inhaled. Inhalation of asbestos fibers is known to cause "asbestosis", a chronic disease of the lungs which can lead to certain health conditions.

At Fort Rucker, our older buildings may contain asbestos. Buildings built between 1945 and 1978 are most likely to contain friable asbestos. Many areas have already been surveyed and tested. Do not disturb or remove any material which is labeled as an asbestos-containing material (or which looks like it) without first contacting a subject matter expert who can advise you:

Several federal agencies are charged with regulating asbestos products and wastes. Fort Rucker adheres to all regulations listed in the references below. The different agencies are described below along with their area of responsibility:

References:

AR 200-1, Environmental Protection and Enhancement Chapter 9-2.b, Asbestos Management
AR 385-10 (The Army Safety Program)
40 CFR 61-763 (EPA regulations)
29 CFR 1926 and 29 CFR 1910 (OSHA standard)