Asbestos is a mineral used for fireproofing and insulation.  It occurs naturally in metamorphic rocks near subduction zones from the mineral serpentine. Asbestos is only dangerous when the fibers are airborne, so caution must be taken when renovating older facilities, drilling in walls, or accessing suspended ceilings, as asbestos may have been used in the insulation.  Asbestos can cause various lung diseases including cancer and internal scarring, which impairs lung function.

The US banned the use of asbestos in products in 1989 Canada suited under the Fair Trade agreement and won and the ban on Asbestos was lifted in 1991.

Currently more than 3000 products containing asbestos are sold in the United States. The products range from various construction products to automotive brake shoes.

All asbestos must be removed by a licensed asbestos contractor and licensed asbestos workers.

When renovating or demolishing buildings containing asbestos materials a ten day notification must be sent to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) if the amount of material removed is 160 square feet or 260 linear feet or 35 cubic feet or more. The notification must be sent before the work begins.

For air quality information, visit: Iowa Department of Natural Resources

For general asbestos information, visit: EPA Asbestos Webpage

For details on Drake's Asbestos Management Program, contact: EHS office