What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used extensively in the construction and manufacturing industries, and also can be found occurring naturally in soil. Nearly every building contains some form of asbestos. Its wide use is due to its special heat and chemical-resistant nature and its durability. It has been used in wall insulation; paint; sprayed- or troweled on surfacing materials; ceiling and flooring materials; pipe, boiler, and duct insulation; cement filler; and a variety of other products. It is presumed that houses built after 1979 do not contain asbestos or lead-based paint.
Asbestos is classified as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by state, federal, and international agencies. Several types of disease can result from exposure to asbestos. In fact, inhalation of asbestos fibers can be deadly, although it may not become apparent for years after exposure. Even short-term exposure to asbestos can be harmful. For example, family members of asbestos workers have contracted the disease from exposure to asbestos fibers on the workers’ clothing.
Authorities believe there is no safe level of exposure, although the higher the exposure to asbestos, the higher the risk of disease.
For more information, please refer to the California Department of Consumer Affairs Asbestos Guide for Consumers packet.
As the Owner of a property, you would be allowed to perform work on your own property as long as proper containment is in place and asbestos safe work practices are being performed. Only the homeowner is allowed to perform the work without being certified and cannot pay for someone to help with the project. A permit must be obtained from your local building department for demolition or renovation and Asbestos National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants notification would be required.
Homeowners remain subject to asbestos disposal requirements, and disposal receipts may need to be turned into the building department for final occupancy. Review the Waste Acceptance List of local solid waste facilities prepared by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board and check with the facility before making the trip to the facility. From this list, the nearest facilities to Nevada County that are permitted to accept asbestos are the Ostrom Road, Kiefer, and L&D Landfills.
NOTE: Environmental Health is responsible for regulating illegal dumping and monitors the illegal dumping and unsafe work practices involving Asbestos. However, we do not monitor unless we are informed of an issue by a citizen or professional.