Rhode Island General Laws Title 23. Health and Safety § 23-24.5-5. Asbestos exposure standards

(a) No owner of a structure with friable asbestos or with friable asbestiform materials or any person or entity owning or controlling asbestos or asbestiform products in a friable state shall allow any person to be exposed to asbestos or asbestiform materials in a friable condition when the exposed condition is a violation of a provision this chapter, of a regulation issued pursuant to the authority of this chapter, or of an abatement plan approved by the director.

(b) Prior to the effective date of an air exposure standard established by the director, the indoor non-occupational air exposure standard for asbestos exposure shall be 0.01 fibers longer than five (5) micro meters per cubic centimeter (f/cc) (or three hundred (300) nanograms per cubic meter) as measured by OSHA-NIOSH phase-contrast optical microscopic methods and calculated as an eight (8) hour time weighted average.

(c) The director is authorized to issue regulations for the following purposes:

(1) To limit the sale and use of asbestos and asbestiform materials which the director deems to be a potential danger to the public health;

(2) To establish indoor environmental non-occupational air exposure standards, stated as a given number of fibers per cubic centimeter (f/cc) and calculated as an eight (8) hour time weighted average;

(3) To establish asbestos inspection and evaluation criteria;

(4) To establish criteria including air monitoring useful in ranking the severity of the asbestos problem in a particular building in order to determine the need by the owner for the submission of an abatement plan to the director;

(5) To establish criteria for the submission of an abatement plan by the owner of a public building or a building in the high and intermediate priority groups;

(6) To establish public occupancy standards for buildings containing friable asbestos;

(7) To establish criteria for the registration, licensure, and certification of persons involved in asbestos abatement;  and

(8) To develop educational material informing persons of asbestos hazards in their residences.

(d) In acting on issuing the regulations pursuant to subsection (c), the director shall take into consideration the following guidelines:

(1) The director shall give due consideration to uniform rules and definitions with those of other states and the United States without endangering the public health and without lessening standards established by this chapter;

(2) Except for their asbestos air exposure standards, the director shall give due consideration to the standards contained in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency documents, Asbestos Containing Materials in School Buildings, a Guidance Document, Part 2 (Sawyer, R.M., Spooner, D.M.) and EPA Report no. 560/5-83-002, Guidance for Controlling Friable Asbestos Containing Materials in Buildings;  and the New Jersey Asbestos Policy Commission's Report to the Governor, March 1985;

(3) The director shall seek to minimize the risk of possible injury or death from the use and/or sale of asbestos or asbestiform materials as that risk is weighted against commercial necessity and practicality in considering whether or not to ban or limit the future use and/or sale of these materials;

(4) Indoor environmental non-occupational air exposure standards established shall only allow human exposure to friable asbestos at a level lower than or equal to the standard established by this chapter.

(e) The director shall issue regulations regarding asbestos exposure and abatement.

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