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Asbestos Projects

The Knox County Department of Air Quality Management (Air Quality) implements and enforces the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Emission Standard for Asbestos regulation in order to minimize the release of asbestos fibers during demolition/renovation projects and to protect the public from exposure to this hazardous air pollutant within Knox County.

The information contained on this website is intended to inform contractors and building owners of the notification and work practice requirements for asbestos renovation activity and the demolition of buildings.

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding asbestos.

Asbestos is the generic term for a group of naturally occurring, fibrous minerals with high tensile strength, flexibility, and resistance to heat, chemicals, and electricity. Asbestos was a popular component in commercial products from the early 1900s to the 1970s and is found in many building construction materials.

Unlike most minerals, asbestos breaks up into fine, light fibers invisible to the naked eye that can only be seen under a microscope. Intact and undisturbed asbestos-containing material (ACM) usually does not pose a health risk. It becomes a problem when asbestos fibers are released into the air due to damage, disturbance, or deterioration over time.

Asbestos fibers enter the body when a person inhales or ingests airborne particles that become embedded in the tissues of the respiratory or digestive systems. Exposure to asbestos can cause disabling or fatal diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and gastrointestinal cancer. The symptoms of these diseases do not usually appear until about 20 to 30 years after initial exposure.

Examples of suspect asbestos-containing materials are listed below:

Acoustical Plaster

HVAC Duct Insulation

Adhesives

High Temperature Gaskets

Asphalt Floor Tile

Joint Compounds

Blown in Insulation

Laboratory Gloves

Base Flashing

Laboratory Hoods/Tabletops

Boiler Insulation

Mastic

Breeching Insulation

Packing Materials (for wall/floor penetrations)

Caulking

Pipe Insulation (corrugated air-cell, block, etc.)

Ceiling Tiles/Lay-in Panels

Putty

Cement Pipes

Roofing Asphalt

Cement Siding

Roofing Felt

Cement Wallboard

Roofing Putty

Chalkboards

Roofing Shingles

Cooling Towers

Skim Coats

Decorative Plaster

Spackling Compounds

Ductwork Flexible Fabric Connection

Spray Applied Insulation

Electrical Cloth

Stucco

Electrical Panel Partitions

Taping Compounds (thermal)

Electric Wiring Insulation

Textured Paints/Coatings

Elevator Brake Shoes

Thermal Paper Products

Elevator Equipment Panels

Transite Pipe

Fire Blankets

Vermiculite Insulation

Fire Curtains

Vinyl Floor Tile

Fire Doors

Vinyl Sheet Flooring

Fireproofing Materials (foam)

Vinyl Wall Covering

Flooring Backing

Wallboard

Heating and Electrical Ducts

Window Putty

Note: This list does not include every product/material that may contain asbestos. It is intended as a general guide to show which types of materials may contain asbestos.

  • Friable asbestos material. A friable asbestos material is any material containing more than 1 percent asbestos that, when dry, can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure.
  • Category I nonfriable asbestos-containing material (ACM) that has become friable or will be/has been subjected to sanding, grinding, cutting, or abrading. Category I nonfriable ACM is any packings, gaskets, resilient floor covering, and asphalt roofing products that contain more than 1 percent asbestos.
  • Category II nonfriable ACM that has a high probability of becoming or has become crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by the forces expected to act on the material int the course of demolition or renovation operations. Category II nonfriable ACM is any material, excluding Category I nonfriable ACM, containing more than 1 percent asbestos that, when dry, cannot be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure.

Except for demolition/renovation projects at a single residential building with four or fewer dwelling units, you are required to conduct a thorough inspection of the area where the demolition/renovation will occur for the presence of asbestos. This inspection is commonly referred to as an asbestos survey. An asbestos survey should be conducted by a State of Tennessee licensed asbestos inspector. Information on State of Tennessee licensed asbestos inspector requirements can be found here and a database of licensed asbestos inspectors can be found here.

If you were required to conduct an asbestos survey, you are required to submit a ten day notification form (click here) to Air Quality at least 10 working days (Saturday and Sunday do not count as working days) prior to the commencement of activity for the following demolition/renovation projects:

  • All demolition projects (including intentional burning and even if no asbestos is present). Demolition means the wrecking or taking out of any load-supporting structural member of a facility together with any related handling operations.
  • All renovation projects that include the removal of regulated asbestos-containing material (RACM) equaling or exceeding 260 linear feet on pipes, 160 square feet on facility components, or 35 cubic feet where the amount of RACM could not be measured prior to the renovation.

You are required to submit a notification fee of $100 for each demolition/renovation project that includes the removal of regulated asbestos-containing material (RACM) exceeding 260 linear feet on pipes or 160 square feet on facility components. This notification fee should be submitted with the ten-day notification form and be made payable to the Knox County Department of Air Quality Management. If you would like to pay by credit card, there is a convenience fee of 2.35% of the charge. To pay the notification fee by credit card, please call our office at 865-215-5900 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

You are required to comply with the work procedures contained in 40 CFR 61.145(c) (click here) for all demolition/renovation projects involving the removal of regulated asbestos-containing material (RACM) equaling or exceeding 260 linear feet on pipes, 160 square feet on facility components, or 35 cubic feet where the amount of RACM could not be measured previously.

You are required to comply with the waste disposal requirements for asbestos-containing waste material contained in 40 CFR 61.150 (click here) for all demolition/renovation projects.

Please call 865-215-5900 or email asbestos@knoxcounty.org if you have any questions or need assistance.

Click here for information on the EPA National Emission Standard for Asbestos regulation implemented and enforced by Air Quality.

Air Quality

Main Office
140 Dameron Ave,
Knoxville, TN 37917


865-215-5900 phone
865-215-5902 fax

Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Department Email

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