The division has rules to help keep asbestos out of the air we breathe. Asbestos is a microscopic mineral fiber that was put into thousands of kinds of building materials. It can be found in pipe insulation, flooring, walls, ceilings, roofs and many other materials. It was useful because it made these materials fireproof, soundproof and sturdy. However, by the 1960s, scientists concluded that asbestos can cause lung cancer.
When asbestos-containing materials crumble, they release asbestos fibers into the air. This crumbling can happen when buildings are renovated or demolished, and it can even happen when materials deteriorate through aging. Breathing these fibers can cause lung cancer.
People who work for the division have the job of regulating other people who actually work with asbestos -- people who find it, people who figure out what to do with it and people who remove it.
Division staff review school asbestos management plans to make sure that if a school building contains any asbestos, there’s a map of where it is, what shape it’s in and how it’s being handled. We also make sure that all asbestos professionals – not just management planners, but also inspectors and removers – are properly trained to deal safely with asbestos. We work with asbestos inspectors in the division’s Field Operations Branch by giving them information they can use when they visit schools and other facilities to check that asbestos is being handled safely. Our asbestos staff rely largely on a science background and communications skills to do their jobs.
With certification, asbestos abatement entities have the training and background to protect Kentucky's environment and its citizens' health and welfare.