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A regulated area is an area established by the employer to demarcate areas where Classes I, II, and III asbestos work is conducted and any adjoining area where debris and waste from such asbestos work accumulate; it is also a work area within which airborne concentrations of asbestos exceed, or possibly exceed, the permissible exposure limit.

Use of personal protective equipment while working in areas with asbestos-containing material, or ACM, or presumed asbestos-containing material, or PACM, can include equipment worn, equipment used, and prohibited activities in the regulated area.

Equipment includes:

  • Respirators must be used IAW OSHA standard 1926.1101(h)(1), which contains specific situations depending on either Class I, Class II, Class III, or Class IV asbestos work.

'''Figure 1: Air Purifying Respirator'''

  • Glove bags are not more than a 60 in. x 60 in. impervious plastic bag-like enclosures affixed around an asbestos-containing material, with glove-like appendages through which material and tools may be handled.
  • A high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filter dust collection system is used to gather the asbestos dust prior to the air leaving the regulated area.

'''Figure 2: A HEPA filter system'''

  • Protective clothing may include coveralls or similar whole-body clothing, head coverings, gloves, and foot coverings.

'''Figure 3: Personal Protective Equipment'''

Prohibited activities include:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Smoking
  • Chewing tobacco or gum
  • Applying cosmetics

An ACM or PACM requires a competent person present during any work being performed within these areas. A competent person is defined as one who is capable of identifying existing asbestos hazards in the workplace and selecting the appropriate control strategy for asbestos exposure and who has the authority to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them as specified in 29 CFR 1926.32(f). In addition, for Class I and Class II work, it is someone who is specially trained in a training course that meets the criteria of the EPA’s Model Accreditation Plan (40 CFR 763) for supervisors or equivalent and, for Class III and Class IV work, who is trained in a manner consistent with EPA requirements for training of local education agency maintenance and custodial staff as set forth in 40 CFR 763.92 (a)(2).

'''Figure 4: Workers Properly Working with Asbestos'''



Beginning April 22, 2010, federal law requires that contractors performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb more than six square feet of paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and trained to follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

  • Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978. Some states stopped its use even earlier. Lead can be found:
  • In homes in the city, country, or suburbs
  • In apartments, single-family homes, and both private and public housing
  • Inside and outside of the house
  • In soil, which can pick up lead from exterior paint or other sources, putting children playing in yards in danger of ingesting or inhaling lead dust

'''Figure 5: Hazardous Materials should be Properly Labeled and Kept Away from Children'''

  • In food and liquids stored in lead crystal or lead-glazed pottery or porcelain
  • In lead smelters or other industries that release lead into the air
  • In hobbies that use lead such as making pottery, making stained glass, or refinishing furniture
  • In folk remedies that contain lead such as "greta" and "azarcon," which are used to treat an upset stomach

People can get lead in their bodies if they:

  • Put their hands, or other objects covered with lead dust, in their mouths
  • Eat paint chips or soil that contain lead
  • Breathe in lead dust, especially during renovations that disturb painted surfaces

Lead is more dangerous to children because:

  • Babies and young children often put their hands and other objects in their mouths. These objects can have lead dust on them.
  • Children’s growing bodies absorb more lead.
  • Children’s brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.

If not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Behavior and learning problems such as hyperactivity
  • Slowed growth
  • Hearing problems
  • Headaches

Lead is also harmful to adults. Adults can suffer from:

  • Reproductive problems
  • High blood pressure and hypertension
  • Nerve disorders
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Muscle and joint pain

Hazardous Material

The governing agencies of the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, the United States Department of Transportation, or USDOT, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, all view what is or is not a hazardous material from different viewpoints.


By definition, the EPA determined that some specific wastes are hazardous. These wastes are incorporated into lists published by the agency. These lists are organized into three categories:

'''Figure 6: Waste Water Treatment Facility'''

  • The P-list and the U-list (for discarded commercial chemical products): These lists include specific commercial chemical products in an unused form. Some pesticides and some pharmaceutical products become hazardous wastes when discarded. Wastes included on the P- and U-lists can be found in the regulations at [http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idxc=ecfr&sid=e5c593bfda76b7b92b1f7c263a156c8a&rgn=div8&view=text&node=40: CFR 261.33.


OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) defines hazardous material as any chemical that is a health hazard or a physical hazard.


Hazardous material means a substance or material that the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has determined is capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce and that has been designated as hazardous under section 5103 of the Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Law (49 U.S.C. 5103). The term includes hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants, elevated temperature materials, materials designated as hazardous in the Hazardous Materials Table (see 49 CFR 172.101), and materials that meet the defining criteria for hazard classes and divisions. Below are examples of signs typically seen on transport vehicles.

'''Figure 7: Hazardous Materials Cautionary Signs'''

Occupant Symptoms Associated with Poor Indoor Air Quality

Human responses to pollutants, climatic factors, and other stressors, such as noise and light, are generally categorized according to the type and degree of responses and the timeframe in which they occur. Building managers should be generally familiar with these categories, leaving detailed knowledge to health and safety professionals.

Acute Effects

Acute effects are those that occur immediately (e.g., within 24 hours) after exposure. Chemicals released from building materials may cause headaches, or mold spores may result in itchy eyes and runny noses in sensitive individuals, shortly after exposure. Generally, these effects are not long-lasting and disappear shortly after exposure ends. However, exposure to some biocontaminants (fungi, bacteria, viruses), resulting from moisture problems, poor maintenance, or inadequate ventilation, have been known to cause serious, sometimes life-threatening respiratory diseases, which themselves can lead to chronic respiratory conditions.

Chronic Effects

Chronic effects are long-lasting responses to long-term or frequently repeated exposures. Long-term exposures to even low concentrations of some chemicals may induce chronic effects. Cancer is the most commonly associated long-term health consequence of exposure to indoor air contaminants. For example, long-term exposures to environmental tobacco smoke, radon, asbestos, and benzene increase cancer risk.


Discomfort is typically associated with climatic conditions, but building contaminants may also be implicated. People complain of being too hot or too cold or experience eye, nose, or throat irritation because of low humidity. However, reported symptoms can be difficult to interpret. Complaints that the air is "too dry" may result from irritation from particles on the mucous membranes rather than low humidity, or "stuffy air" may mean that the temperature is too warm or there is lack of air movement, or "stale air" may mean that there is a mild but difficult odor to identify. These conditions may be unpleasant and cause discomfort among occupants, but there is usually no serious health implication involved. Absenteeism, work performance, and employee morale, however, can be seriously affected when building managers fail to resolve these complaints.

Performance Effects

Significant measurable changes in people’s ability to concentrate or perform mental or physical tasks have been shown to result from modest changes in temperature and relative humidity. In addition, recent studies suggest that the similar effects are associated with indoor pollution due to lack of ventilation or the presence of pollution sources. Estimates of performance losses from poor indoor air quality for all buildings suggest a 2-4% loss on average. Future research should further document and quantify these effects.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or MCS

It is generally recognized that some persons can be sensitive to particular agents at levels that do not have an observable affect in the general population. In addition, it is recognized that certain chemicals can be sensitizers in that exposure to the chemical at high levels can result in sensitivity to that chemical at much lower levels.

Some evidence suggests that a subset of the population may be especially sensitive to low levels of a broad range of chemicals at levels common in today’s home and working environments. This apparent condition has come to be known as multiple chemical sensitivity, or MCS.

Persons reported to have MCS apparently have difficulty being in most buildings. There is significant professional disagreement concerning whether MCS actually exists and what the underlying mechanism might be. Building managers may encounter occupants who have been diagnosed with MCS. Resolution of complaints in such circumstances may or may not be possible with the guidance provided in I-BEAM. Responsibility to accommodate such individuals is subject to negotiation and may involve arrangements to work at home or in a different location.

Factors Affecting Indoor Climate

The thermal environment (temperature, relative humidity, and airflow) are important dimensions of indoor air quality for several reasons. First, many complaints of poor indoor air may be resolved by simply altering the temperature or relative humidity. Second, people that are thermally uncomfortable will have a lower tolerance to other building discomforts. Third, the rate at which chemicals are released from building materials is usually higher at higher building temperatures. Thus, if occupants are too warm, it is also likely that they are being exposed to higher pollutant levels.

'''Figure 8: A Thermostat'''

Indoor thermal conditions are controlled by the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. How well the thermal environment is controlled depends on the design and operating parameters of the system and on the heat gains and losses in the space being controlled. These gains and losses are principally determined by indoor sources of heat, the heat gains from sunlight, the heat exchange through the thermal envelope, and the outdoor conditions and outdoor air ventilation rate.

Factors Affecting Indoor Air Pollution

Much of the building fabric, its furnishings and equipment, its occupants, and their activities produce pollution. In a well-functioning building, some of these pollutants will be directly exhausted to the outdoors, and some will be removed as outdoor air enters the building and replaces the air inside. The air outside may also contain contaminants that will be brought inside in this process. This air exchange is brought about by the mechanical introduction of outdoor air (outdoor air ventilation rate), the mechanical exhaust of indoor air, and the air exchanged through the building envelope (infiltration and exfiltration).

Pollutants inside can travel through the building as air flows from areas of higher atmospheric pressure to areas of lower atmospheric pressure. Some of these pathways are planned and deliberate so as to draw pollutants away from occupants, but problems arise when unintended flows draw contaminants into occupied areas. In addition, some contaminants may be removed from the air through natural processes, as with the adsorption of chemicals by surfaces or the settling of particles onto surfaces. Removal processes may also be deliberately incorporated into the building systems. Air filtration devices, for example, are commonly incorporated into building ventilation systems.

Water Quality

In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act. This law requires the EPA to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur with an adequate margin of safety. These nonenforceable health goals, based solely on possible health risks, are called maximum contaminant level goals (MCLG) The MCLG for lead is 0. The EPA has set this level based on the best available science, which shows there is no safe level of exposure to lead.

For most contaminants, the EPA sets an enforceable regulation based on the MCLG called a maximum contaminant level (MCL). MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as possible, considering cost, benefits, and the ability of public water systems to detect and remove contaminants using suitable treatment technologies. However, because lead and copper contamination of drinking water often results from corrosion of the plumbing materials belonging to water system customers, the EPA established a treatment technique rather than an MCL for lead and copper. A treatment technique is an enforceable procedure or level of technological performance that water systems must follow to ensure control of a contaminant. The treatment technique regulation for lead and copper (referred to as the Lead and Copper Rule) requires water systems to control the corrosivity of the water. The regulation also requires systems to collect tap samples from sites served by the system that are more likely to have plumbing materials containing lead. If more than 10% of tap water samples exceed the lead action level of 15 parts per billion or the copper action level of 1.3 milligrams per liter (mg/L), then water systems are required to take additional actions including:

  • Taking further steps to optimize their corrosion control treatment for water systems serving 50,000 people that have not fully optimized their corrosion control
  • Educating the public about lead in drinking water and actions consumers can take to reduce their exposure to lead
  • Replacing the portions of lead service lines (lines that connect distribution mains to customers) under the water system’s control

The EPA promulgated the Lead and Copper Rule in 1991 and revised the regulation in 2000 and 2007. States may set more stringent drinking water regulations than the EPA.

The major sources of lead and copper in drinking water are corrosion of household plumbing systems and erosion of natural deposits. Lead and copper enters the water ("leaches") through contact with the plumbing. Lead and copper leaches into water through corrosion, a dissolving or wearing away of metal caused by a chemical reaction between water and plumbing. Lead and copper can leach into water from pipes, solder, fixtures and faucets (brass), and fittings. The amount of lead and copper in your water also depends on the types and amounts of minerals in the water, how long the water stays in the pipes, the amount of wear in the pipes, the water’s acidity, and its temperature.

Although the main sources of exposure to lead are ingesting paint chips and inhaling dust, the EPA estimates that 10-20% of human exposure to lead may come from lead in drinking water. Infants who consume mostly mixed formula can receive 40-60% of their exposure to lead from drinking water.

Have your water tested for lead. A list of certified labs is available from your state or local drinking water authority. Testing costs between $20 and $100. Since you cannot see, taste, or smell lead dissolved in water, testing is the only sure way of telling whether there are harmful quantities of lead in your drinking water. You should be particularly suspicious if your home has lead pipes (lead is a dull gray metal that is soft enough to be easily scratched with a house key) or if you see signs of corrosion (frequent leaks, rust-colored water). Your water supplier may have useful information, including whether the service connector used in your home or area is made of lead. Testing is especially important in high-rise buildings where flushing might not work.

Electromagnetic Radiation

Electromagnetic radiation can also be received from the portion of the spectrum defined as the radio frequency region.

For normal environmental conditions and for incident electromagnetic energy of frequencies from 10 MHz to 100 GHz, the radiation protection guide is 10 mW/cm2(milliwatt per square centimeter) as averaged over any possible 0.1-hour period. This means the following:

Power density: 10 mW/cm2for periods of 0.1-hour or more

Energy density: 1 mW-hr/cm2(milliwatt hour per square centimeter) during any 0.1-hour period

This guide applies whether the radiation is continuous or intermittent.

The warning symbol for radio frequency radiation hazards consist of a red isosceles triangle above an inverted black isosceles triangle, separated and outlined by an aluminum color border. The words "Warning - Radio-Frequency Radiation Hazard" appear in the upper triangle.

'''Figure 9: Radio-Frequency Radiation Hazard Warning Sign'''

This information applies to all radiations originating from radio stations, radar equipment, and other possible sources of electromagnetic radiation such as what is used for communication, radio navigation, and industrial and scientific purposes. This information does not apply to the deliberate exposure of patients by, or under the direction of, practitioners of the healing arts.