EPA awards $150,000 to reduce asbestos exposure in Louisiana


From Green Right Now Reports

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $150,000 to Louisiana to help reduce asbestos exposure in schools and state buildings. The project will encompass compliance monitoring, compliance assistance and public outreach.

Government officials said the project, which is covered under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, will provide protection through on-site surveillance where asbestos is found. The act requires local education agencies to inspect schools for asbestos-containing building material and prepare management plans to reduce the hazard. The act also establishes a program for the training and accreditation of individuals performing certain types of asbestos work.

Although asbestos is hazardous, the EPA says human risk of asbestos disease depends upon exposure. Removal is often not the best course of action to reduce asbestos exposure, the EPA says, because improper removal can create a dangerous situation where none existed. EPA only requires removal in order to prevent significant public exposure to asbestos, such as during building renovation or demolition.

EPA recommends in-place management whenever asbestos is discovered. Instead of removal, implementation of a management plan will usually control fiber release when materials are not significantly damaged and are not likely to be disturbed.

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