Skip to main content

Asbestos Management


Asbestos is the common name for a group of naturally-occurring silicate minerals that separate into thin but strong fibers. There are six asbestos minerals that have been used commercially - chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, actinolite, anthophyllite and tremolite. Asbestos is not combustible, has high tensile strength and has good thermal and electrical insulating properties. It is durable, flexible, strong and resistant to wear. Because of these desirable properties, asbestos was used in the fabrication of many building products including pipe and boiler insulation, fireproofing, resilient flooring, roofing materials, ceiling tiles, sheetrock, cement sheet and duct materials, automotive brake/clutch components, decorative coatings, plasters and many others. Asbestos has been shown (through inhalation) to cause asbestosis (a non-cancerous fibrosis of the lungs), mesothelioma (cancer of the lung lining) and lung cancer.Based upon exhibited health effects and its prevalence in buildings, asbestos has been heavily regulated by Federal and State government.

Applicable University Policy

  • UMD Asbestos Management Plan
  • Asbestos containing materials should never be disturbed unless you have been trained and authorized to do so.
  • The Department of Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk should be contacted if you think you have encountered damaged asbestos or asbestos debris.

Applicable Regulations

  • 29 CFR 1910.1001 - OSHA Asbestos Standard for General Industry
  • 29 CFR 1926.1101 - OSHA Asbestos Standard for the Construction Industry
  • 40 CFR Part 61 Subpart M -EPA National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants
  • 40 CFR Part 763 - EPA Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act and Worker Protection
  • 9 CFR Part 171, Subpart C -DOT Hazardous Materials
  • COMAR 26.11.21 - Maryland Control of Asbestos
  • COMAR 26.11.23 - Maryland School Accreditation of Individuals, and Approval of Training Courses
  • Asbestos Inventory - An Inventory identifying locations of asbestos at UMD is also located on this website
  • Governor's Executive Order 01.01.1987.22 - Asbestos Oversight Committee

Summary of Requirements

  • Exposure Monitoring: All personnel potentially exposed to asbestos shall be representatively monitored by breathing zone air sampling to ensure exposures are kept below the 8-hour time-weighted average Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 0.1 fibers/cubic centimeter of air (f/cc) and the 30-minute Excursion Limit of 1.0 f/cc. Sampling and analysis shall be performed in accordance with OSHA-specified methodology.
  • Exposure Assessments: All asbestos-disturbing activities shall be preceded by a supervisory review of proposed work/procedures and available relevant monitoring data to verify that work will not create worker exposure hazards.
  • Medical Surveillance: All personnel assigned to asbestos-disturbing activities shall be medically examined (prior to first assignment and annually thereafter) under the direction of a licensed physician. A written opinion must be provided indicating the employee's medical qualification to perform asbestos work.
  • Personal Protection: All personnel performing asbestos-related work shall be provided with full body (including head, hands and feet) protection and respiratory protection appropriate for the airborne asbestos concentration (not less than half- face air-purifying model for automotive work and full-face powered air-purifying model for all other asbestos activities).
  • Engineering Controls: Emissions shall be controlled by using any or a combination of all of the following controls: local exhaust ventilation equipped with HEPA filtration and exhausted outdoors (whenever possible), vacuums equipped with HEPA filtration, and glove bag or glove box enclosure systems.
  • Area Preparation: Areas where asbestos will be disturbed must be posted with warning signs to restrict access, contained or enclosed with barriers, and provided with decontamination facilities.

Work Practices: An Asbestos Operations and Maintenance Plan has been developed and made available online at the ESSR website. This document establishes procedures to be used for performing asbestos-disturbing activities as well as tasks that are not anticipated to cause asbestos exposure (e.g., stripping/buffing of asbestos flooring, removal of loose floor tiles, etc.)

  • Waste Handling and Disposal: Asbestos waste shall be promptly packaged while wet and sealed in impermeable leak-tight containers. All waste must be labeled in accordance to verbiage specified by OSHA, EPA and DOT. The generator, source location and date of container closure must be on the container. Waste shall be disposed in an EPA-approved disposal site.
  • Waste Storage, Transport and Documentation: Asbestos waste shall not be stored at the point of generation. Waste must be placed in locked/secured closed vehicles or containers. Vehicles or containers shall be marked or posted with warning signs during loading and unloading. Wastes must be documented in a waste shipment record in accordance with EPA/DOT requirements. This document shall travel to the disposal site with the waste.


  • All personnel involved in asbestos-disturbing activities must receive training concerning acceptable work practices, engineering controls, regulations, personal protective equipment, hygiene and housekeeping, waste handling & disposal, medical surveillance, exposure monitoring, decontamination facilities, containment enclosures, asbestos health effects and recordkeeping. Specific training programs are required for personnel with the following asbestos-related responsibilities: Worker, Automotive Worker, Supervisor, Project Designer, Building Inspector, Management Planner and Safety & Health Specialist. This training is to be in accordance with the EPA AHERA Model Accreditation Plan or the Maryland State Asbestos Control Program.


  • Demolition and renovation projects involving abatement of asbestos-containing materials requires specific notifications be provided to the Maryland Department of the Environment.
  • All employee medical surveillance and personal monitoring shall be provided to employees within 30 days.
  • All asbestos work performed by UMD staff shall be reported through the online system maintained by ESSR.
  • All contractors shall submit a Notification of Contractual Abatement to ESSR prior to initiation of work. This form is available through the ESSR website.


  • All asbestos-containing materials must be identified prior to demolition, renovation or other activities that may cause disturbance to these materials. Surveys, sampling and analysis shall be performed in accordance with EPA requirements.
  • All asbestos abatement work must be planned and inspected by personnel deemed competent by EPA definition. Clearance air monitoring of the work area is required following all asbestos abatement, except small scale operations performed by in-house maintenance personnel.
  • Asbestos-containing materials are to be inspected semi-annually for condition with repairs or containment implemented as necessary.


Records shall be maintained of all of the following: surveys, inspections, sampling data, designs or specifications, notifications, medical surveillance, air monitoring results, written respirator program, respirator training and fit-testing, work reports/logs, waste shipment records and any other records related to asbestos work. Personnel medical or exposure records shall be maintained for at least 30 years following termination of employment for any individual exposed to asbestos.

Written Program:

A written Asbestos Management Plan is available from the ESSR Website.

University Resources:

Department of Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk (301) 405-3960
ESSR Fax No.    (301) 314-9294
ESSR Website:

Written 5/98
Revised 3/04
Reviewed 4/05

Back to Top