By Cindy Granier
While continuing to help promote National Safety Month during the month of June, University of Houston’s Environmental Health and Life Safety Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration encourage extra care and precaution in maintaining personal and work safety at the University of Houston.
Extensive research has shown exposure to asbestos containing material when it becomes airborne – commonly referred to as friable – poses a serious health problem. The inhalation of this material has been directly linked to cancer and respiratory illnesses such as asbestosis of the lung in humans.
Public health agencies across the country have developed regulations to prevent exposing building occupants to asbestos containing material. The Texas Department of State Health Services is the state agency that regulates asbestos containing material in public buildings.
Under the state regulations, building owners such as UH bear the primary responsibility for identifying asbestos containing material in their buildings and taking measures to prevent it from becoming airborne within the occupied portions of the buildings.
These regulations are comprehensive and can be found in Texas Administrative Code section 295.31 – 295.73. They involve the license of all persons working on an asbestos abatement project, procedures for conducting abatement or encapsulation, and record-keeping requirements.
The goal of this plan is to prevent exposure to airborne asbestos containing material to the UH community, unless they are asbestos-licensed personnel working on asbestos projects. For additional information, check out the online OSHA Fact Sheet.
Feel free to contact Environmental Health and Life Safety with any questions or concerns at 713-743-5858 or firstname.lastname@example.org.