California Health and Safety Code Section 25915.2. requires notification to all UC Riverside personnel of the presence of asbestos in certain materials used in the construction of University buildings. Copies of this legislation are available at the Environmental, Health and Safety (EH&S) office.
Buildings that were built prior to 1981 may contain asbestos materials in public access areas. These materials may include but are not limited to vinyl asbestos floor tiles and/or linoleum sheet flooring as well as the mastic used to secure them, sprayed on acoustical or “popcorn ceiling”, gypsum wallboard, and joint compounds. In addition, some laboratory and machine shop areas have benches and/or fume hoods constructed of transite and other similar asbestos containing materials (ACM). Asbestos in these materials is bonded with vinyl, epoxy, cement or other materials and under normal conditions, does not pose any danger to the building occupant. In areas where the asbestos is not airborne when bonded or encapsulated, such as floor tiles or painted and properly maintained insulation materials, there is little or no risk to health.
However, if the material is drilled, sanded or otherwise disturbed, it could result in the release of asbestos fibers into the air that could pose a health risk. Such work must only be performed by specially trained personnel using proper work practices, containment equipment and personal protective equipment.
It is important for employees to follow proper work practices to minimize the potential for disturbing any presumed asbestos containing material (PACM) and potentially releasing asbestos fibers into the air. In particular, avoid disturbing asbestos materials in walls, ceilings, pipes or equipment. Do not break, drill, cut or remove anything that may be considered PACM. If you have any questions about identifying a material as PACM, contact Facilities Services before you disturb the material(s). If you observe any asbestos materials that have been damaged, report the condition immediately to your supervisor or Facilities Services.
Department heads and supervisors are required to ensure all employees (including student assistants and contract employees) are aware of this notification, why it is being sent, potential health hazards associated with asbestos fiber releases, how to prevent disturbing asbestos containing materials, prohibited practices and the places where asbestos containing building materials are located in their work area(s). A Frequently Asked Questions flier is attached as an educational tool.
If there are any question regarding asbestos safety, please contact Environmental, Health and Safety at EHS@ucr.edu. Thank you in advance for your continued assistance in protecting the health and safety of everyone on campus.