University of Vermont

Department of Risk Management & Safety

Asbestos and Lead Management


Asbestos is a natural, fibrous material commonly used until the mid-1970s for fireproofing as well as for making cement, asphalt, and pipe insulation. Building materials at UVM most likely to contain asbestos include pipe insulation and sprayed- or troweled- on insulation on steel beams and ceilings. While asbestos-containing materials serve a wide variety of very useful purposes, it has been determined that asbestos fibers are potentially dangerous when they are in a loose condition and become airborne.Therefore, it is important not to disturb intact material. In the event unacceptable levels of airborne fibers are detected through ongoing testing, affected persons will be informed and appropriate measures taken to protect health and safety.

For additional information regarding asbestos, contact the Physical Plant Training and Compliance Office at 764-6613.This office has a professional team who use state of the art procedures and practices to perform safely managed abatement activities in compliance with state and federal regulations. More information about Asbestos can be found here.

Lead Paint

Lead is a soft, bluish-grey metal that is naturally occurring in small amounts in our environment. It can enter the body in two ways: breathing in lead particles or swallowing lead particles that may come in contact with food or beverages.

Many older paints contain lead pigments, which are a potential health hazard. As paint is removed by washing or scraping, employees must make sure no living creature will ingest or inhale lead dust. Children and pregnant women should not risk any exposure. Paint chips must be caught in a drop cloth and disposed of properly.

The Physical Plant Training and Compliance Office is in charge of all lead paint removal during building renovations, upgrades and demolitions; this includes the hiring of contractors to do lead paint removal. In addition to applying engineering controls such as ventilation, isolation and enclosures, the use of safe work practices must be applied when working with lead paint removal. Proper respiratory protection and personal protective equipment must be worn. Never leave food or drinks in a work area with potential lead exposure. Any questions regarding lead paint or its removal should be directed to the Physical Plant Training and Compliance Office at 764-6613, or the CPR shop at 656-4341.

Last modified February 06 2009 02:55 PM

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