Misconception # 1: “It is illegal to sell or use building materials & finishes that contain asbestos.”
Actually, the only substances containing asbestos that cannot be sold or used in the United States are insulation and paper materials.
In fact, the United States imports tens of thousands of tons of asbestos-containing building materials each year. Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) can still be found in most home improvement stores. These products include, but are not limited to, roofing materials, window glazing, joint compounds and muds, floor tiles & mastics, grouts, and even some types of duct tape. These products do not list “asbestos” as an ingredient. Instead, they use specific names of asbestos fibers such as “Chrysotile,” “Amosite,” “Crocidolite,” Anthophyllite,” “Tremolite,” and “Actinolite,” and other language such as “Canadian Fibers.” The bottom line is that asbestos has not been made illegal in the construction industry, and is in fact being installed in new buildings still today.
Misconception # 2: “I don’t need an asbestos inspection because this
is a new building.”
Again, new materials do not guarantee the absence of asbestos. Further, the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) is an EPA regulation that requires building owners to “thoroughly inspect the affected facility or part of the facility where the demolition or renovation operation will occur for the presence of asbestos” This inspection, the regulation makes clear, must be performed by a licensed asbestos inspector or management planner prior to any activity that may disturb any
suspected ACM. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) is the state entity responsible for enforcing the NESHAP regulation. So, even if the building slated for demolition or renovation was constructed yesterday, it must undergo a complete asbestos inspection prior to any activity that would disturb the materials.