Confusion abounds about why and when you need to test for asbestos in California;
some clarity to the madness can be found here.
The simple answer to the question of when you need and asbestos survey is ALWAYS! Any time renovation or demolition work will be performed that may disturb suspect Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs), the ACMs must be tested prior to the start of construction. Simple operations and maintenance of your building by janitors may disturb ACMs who must be notified of the presence of ACMs. Finally, tenants in your building must be notified of the possible presence of ACMs.
Some regulatory agencies in California, such as the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) do not allow you to use a construction date as a substitute for performing an asbestos survey. Even if your building was constructed in 2020 and you have architectural plans stating no asbestos was used in the construction of the building, you still need to do an asbestos survey prior to renovations or demolition. Crazy right? Right!
In conclusion, if your building contains suspect ACMs, then you must perform an asbestos survey. Therefore, the real question becomes, "What is an Asbestos Containing Material?" The answer to this question is complex and is addressed as a separate topic in our blog.
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