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Asbestos-Containing Materials at UNC

Asbestos-containing material (ACM) may be present in some older buildings on campus. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ACM “that is in good condition and left undisturbed is unlikely to present a health risk. The risks from asbestos occur when it is damaged or disturbed where asbestos fibers become airborne and can be inhaled. Managing asbestos in place and maintaining it in good repair is often the best approach.”

ACM may be present in flooring, ceilings, walls, thermal system insulation on pipes and tanks, and other miscellaneous items. Manufacturers have used asbestos fibers in a wide range of goods, including roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper and cement products, textiles, coatings, and friction products such as automobile clutch, brake, and transmission parts.

Buildings constructed prior to 1981 are presumed to have ACM unless sampling and analysis indicates otherwise. UNC-Chapel Hill takes appropriate measures to assure that any ACM does not crumble and release fibers into the air, and thus is not considered to be a health risk. If you notice any damaged building materials within your workspace (or in any area), please contact your building maintenance representative.

A select group of buildings on campus require additional precautions due to the asbestos containing materials located on the walls and/or ceilings. For your own protection, we ask that you:

  • Avoid scraping or damaging ceilings, walls or pipes.
  • Place a facility work order before hanging pictures or other objects on walls

If you have further questions, please contact:

David Catalano (interim), Occupational and Environmental Field Hygienist
919-843-7313
dacatalano@ehs.unc.edu

You may also find information about asbestos at the websites noted below: