Asbestos

What is it?

Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals used in certain products such as building materials and vehicle brakes. In the past, it was a desirable additive to many products due to its heat resistance, strength and durability.

Where it can be found ?

Many common building materials that you see every day may contain asbestos. Some of these include floor tile, ceiling tile, mastics (glue) on floor tile and cove base, joint compound, pipe insulation, and fire proofing materials. A more comprehensive list can be found here.

How dangerous is it?

Asbestos fibers are naturally occurring and extremely aerodynamic which means that everyone is exposed to asbestos. To be a significant health concern, asbestos fibers must be inhaled at high concentration over an extended period of time, accumulating in the lungs. As exposure increases, the risk of disease also increases. Therefore, measures to minimize exposure and consequently minimize accumulation of fibers will reduce the risk of adverse health effects.

Asbestos is only dangerous if it becomes airborne. As long as asbestos containing materials are not damaged, the asbestos fibers do not become airborne and do not pose a health threat the building occupants. During an asbestos survey, inspectors assess the condition of asbestos containing materials. These conditions do deteriorate over time. If you find that an asbestos containing item has been damaged, please contact Facilities Services at 474-7000 for an assessment of asbestos in your work area.

More Information

Asbestos Diseases

Employee Information - Remaining Asbestos at UAF

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