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Hazardous Building Material Surveys

Hazardous materials building components should be identified and their disposal properly managed prior to the demolition or renovation of a building. Along with asbestos removal and mold inspections. EE&G conducts building surveys to observe the presence, location, and condition of suspected hazardous building materials; such as Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and Mercury-containing equipment.

Hazardous Building Material Surveys

It is important for any professional contractor, no matter the specialty, to recognize the primary hazardous building materials and understand applicable federal regulations. Remember, state and local agencies often adopt the federal regulations, but can also set specific, more stringent standards. Regulations at the local, state and federal levels should be identified before undertaking a building remodel, renovation, or demolition.

Suspect components or equipment are inspected for external labels, manufacturer, serial number, and signs of leakage. The presences or absence of PCBs in unmarked suspect equipment can then be determined by contacting the manufacturer or through laboratory sampling.

Hazardous Building Material Inspections include:

  • Fluorescent lamps
  • Light Ballasts (mercury or PCBs)
  • Utility switches and thermostats (mercury)
  • Exit light and emergency lighting batteries (lead)
  • Freon-containing devices
  • Underground storage tanks
  • Indoor transformers
  • Other regulated lamps:
    • High-Intensity Discharge (HID).
    • Neon
    • High-Pressure Sodium (HPS).
    • Metal Halide.
  • Hydraulic devices (PCBs)
  • Non-de-minimus storage of regulated or hazardous substances.
  • Other materials which require special handling, including:
    • White goods.
    • Grease traps.
    • Leaded roof flashings and plumbing sealants.
    • Fire suppression systems (propellant and discharge).

What Are some Hazardous Building Materials?

Hazardous building materials include asbestos, lead, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), chlorofluorocarbons, and radioactive sources; they are found in buildings of any age or condition. The uncontrolled disturbance of such materials can result in dangerous overexposures for contractor employees, contamination of the building, project delays, additional expenses and even regulatory violations. Understanding the health, safety and environmental regulations that apply to the disturbance and disposal of these materials can help owners and contractors prepare for and successfully navigate potential issues.

It is important for any professional contractor, no matter the specialty, to recognize the primary hazardous building materials cleanup and understand applicable federal regulations. Remember, state and local agencies often adopt the federal regulations, but can also set specific, more stringent standards. Regulations at the local, state and federal levels should be identified before undertaking a building remodel, renovation, or demolition.