Safe Work Processes
What is the mandate of the asbestos management program?
The Asbestos Management Program is managed by Safety & Risk Services in collaboration with Building Operations on behalf of UBC.
The mandate of the Asbestos Management Program is to control the potential hazards of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres by the identification and elimination, or the encapsulation of asbestos-containing materials.
UBC had many buildings constructed/renovated during decades when asbestos was a common addition to building materials. Check out our latest Asbestos Alert Bulletin (PDF) for the locations of known asbestos materials on campus.
Our services include:
- Inspection, inventory and documentation of asbestos containing materials (ACM) in UBC facilities.
- Providing support for University stakeholders during renovation and maintenance projects.
- Implementation and maintenance of an on-site information system on asbestos materials through the placement of identification labels in every room on campus.
What are the health concerns?
UBC has put measures in place to ensure that possible asbestos-related health risks (PDF) are eliminated or as low as reasonably achievable. Still, it is important to note the different health issues related to asbestos exposure and how you can recognize their symptoms.
It should be noted that exposure to asbestos can occur in your residence (built prior to 1995) when do it yourself home renovations takes place or a contractor is not using safe asbestos removal procedures when asbestos is present while doing work in your residence.
UBC Asbestos Management Program highly recommends that you should hire a qualified Asbestos Consultant to conduct a survey prior to renovation if your residence was built prior to 1995.
What are labels and identification?
Asbestos Containing Materials are present throughout UBC Buildings constructed prior to 1985. In 1985 the University mandated that asbestos containing construction materials not be used in any new building. In the early 1990’s the university undertook an inventory of all buildings and asbestos materials within them.
The university also established the Asbestos Management Program (AMP) and instituted a labeling system identifying the location of asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) (PDF) within each room of buildings with asbestos containing materials on campus.
What are the typical uses for asbestos?
Historically, as asbestos only required minimal refining prior to its use in manufacturing, it was a very inexpensive and effective constituent of many products. One of the sectors that utilized asbestos most frequently was the construction industry.
Asbestos was added to building materials to give them strength and fire proofing. As a consequence, virtually all of the buildings constructed prior to 1980 contain some form of an asbestos building products (PDF).
The use of asbestos in most products was banned in the early 1970s but some manufacturers that produce products such as brake linings and clutch facings have found no other effective replacement for asbestos.