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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 1. Administration
Agency 30. Department of General Services
Chapter 20. Survey Standards for the Inspection of Hospitals for the Presence of Asbestos

1VAC30-20-90. Assessment of conditions and prioritization for remedial action.

Upon completion of the on-site inspections and the calculation of the relative exposure potential assessment, recommendations shall be made regarding future response actions.

A number of factors are used to determine the exposure number and, subsequently, the priority level. One of the most important factors among those listed in Appendix A of this standard is the friability factor. Friability is the ability to crumble, pulverize, or powderize a dry material by hand pressure or which under normal use or maintenance emits or can be expected to emit asbestos fibers into the air. The determination of friability is straight forward and is explained in Appendix A of this Standard. Friability is a multiplicative factor and can increase the final exposure number as much as 33% to 100%.

Another factor important in determining exposure potential is the mechanism for fiber transportation. This transport mechanism may be an air plenum or it can be the simple opening and closing of a door. High occupant activity can cause fibers to be become entrained, and even water damage can be a means of fiber transport. A number of the factors mentioned above are addressed in the field and scored on the algorithm. One of the most serious situations is to have a highly friable material in a nonducted supply air plenum. Another serious concern is to have a highly friable material in a return air plenum. No matter what the transport mechanism is, corrective procedures will need to be designed and implemented to reduce or eliminate the transportation of fibers.

Five priority levels have been defined for those areas found to contain asbestos. These priority levels are a function of the exposure number. (For explanation of exposure numbers, please see Appendix A). A priority ranking is an excellent means of designing a phased abatement program.

The following is a detailed explanation of each priority level:

Significant hazard area. Areas placed in this category are those that are considered to pose a significant potential hazard to human health. The proper response to this priority is to immediately isolate the area and repair, encapsulate, enclose or remove the material before access is allowed. Any response other than removal must leave the material not accessible or not friable.

Priority Level I.

Areas placed in this priority category are those that are felt to pose a high exposure potential. Materials in these areas are usually in very poor condition with material possibly laying about on the floor. However, there is the possibility for the material to be in good condition and still exhibit a high potential for exposure, depending on other factors such as friability, accessibility, air movement and vibration. Fireproofing is a material that can exhibit this condition. These are the areas that should be addressed first.

The response action recommended for items in this level are to repair the material by encapsulation, enclosure or by any other means which will render the material not friable and to institute a plan designed to insure that the material does not become friable, or remove the material using competent, licensed personnel.

Priority Level II:

Areas listed in this level have materials that are not in as poor condition as those listed in Priority Level I but still pose a relatively high potential for exposure. In some cases the difference between a Priority Level I area and Priority Level II may be access to the area and the material. The corrective action plan for these areas should be to properly repair of the material and to institute a plan to insure that the material does not become friable, or remove the material using competent, licensed personnel.

Priority Level III:

These areas pose a moderate exposure potential; however, with time these materials will deteriorate and should be abated. Corrective action should be aimed at eliminating the factors causing the material to deteriorate and to making repairs. A plan will be necessary to monitor the condition of these materials to insure that they do not become friable after repairs are made.

Priority Level IV:

These materials currently have a relatively low exposure potential. Make minor repairs to the material and institute a plan to insure the material remains not friable or remove the material using competent, licensed personnel.

Determination of priority levels:

The determination of Priority Level I areas and Priority Level II areas is based on considerable experience and compiled with standard, recognized approaches to prioritization based on industry standards.

The priority levels are graduational by design. An area that falls in the upper portion of Priority Level II should be considered to pose a higher exposure potential than an area that falls in the lower portion of Priority Level II.

Finally, it is strongly recommended that in any area that is scheduled to undergo renovation or demolition, a complete survey be conducted to confirm the asbestos content of all suspect materials that could contain asbestos. Materials that contain asbestos must be removed prior to commencement of any renovation or demolition work in which the asbestos containing material will be disturbed by the project. Any removal of asbestos materials must be by personnel properly licensed by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

Statutory Authority

§§ 2.1-424 and 2.1-526.14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR330-01-02 § 9, eff. January 20, 1989.

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