ASBESTOS MYTHS & FACTS

MYTH: Asbestos is no longer a problem in the U.S.

FACT: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine reported in its September 2004 issue that asbestos is still a hazard for 1.3 million US workers in the construction industry and for workers involved in the maintenance of buildings and equipment.

MYTH: Asbestos has been banned from use in the U.S.

FACT: On July 12, 1989, the EPA issued a final rule under Section 6 of The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) banning most asbestos-containing products in the U.S. In 1991, the rule was vacated and remanded by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Most of the original ban on the manufacture, importation, processing, or distribution in commerce for most of the asbestos-containing product categories originally covered in the 1989 final rule was overturned.

MYTH: If an asbestos-containing material gets disturbed, vacuuming it up will resolve any issues.

FACT: Asbestos fibers can be small enough that they cannot be seen, can linger in the air for up to 72 hours, and can penetrate even the best vacuum bags.

MYTH: An asbestos survey is not required if the building was constructed after 1980.

FACT: An asbestos survey is always required before the renovation or demolition of a building.

MYTH: Construction materials produced after 1980 do not contain asbestos.

FACT: Most asbestos containing products can still be manufactured, imported, processed and distributed in the U.S.; however, the production and use of asbestos has declined significantly.

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