Asbestos ans how to report it?

Hello, I’m in the process of becoming certified and as I am completing the 4 “mock” home inspections required, I have twice come across what I believe to be asbestos. I searched the InterNACHI web page and only found information about asbestos and nothing about, as an inspector, how to handle what is believed to be asbestos.
Can an inspector give me some advise on how to report when asbestos is thought to be in a home?
Thanks,
Wayne

There was possible ACM (asbestos containing material) present. A visual home inspection can not determine the absence or presence of asbestos. Asbestos content can only be determined by laboratory analysis.

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Welcome to our forum, Wayne! We hope to see you around here more.

Regarding potential ACM (asbestos containing material), one might say: "The ductwork was wrapped in what appears to be ACM and it is friable. Safety precautions should be taken when around this product to not breath it.

The only way to be sure that it is indeed ACM, is to have a lab test it. I recommend having a qualified asbestos abatement professional assess the wrap and make a recommendation on how to seal it or dispose of it and the cost involved before your inspection contingency period ends."

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Here’s what I put in my reports when I see suspect materials.

Floor tiles:
Floor tiles & their adhesives may contain asbestos. The only way to be certain is to have suspect materials tested by a qualified Industrial Hygienist, & then if necessary mitigation be performed by a qualified Asbestos Abatement Contractor. For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/ashome.html.

Ceiling tiles:
Ceiling materials viewed may contain asbestos. The only way to be certain is to have suspect materials tested by a qualified Industrial Hygienist, & then if necessary mitigation be performed by a qualified Asbestos Abatement Contractor. For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/ashome.html.

Ductwork or distribution pipes:
A material that may contain asbestos was viewed on the ductwork or distribution pipes. The only way to be certain is to have suspect materials tested by a qualified Hygienist, & then if necessary mitigation be performed by a qualified Asbestos Mitigation Contractor. For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/ashome.html.

Vermiculite:
Vermiculite insulation was viewed in the attic space. According to the US EPA 70 percent of all vermiculite sold in the United States is contaminated with asbestos. Go to https://www.epa.gov/asbestos/protect-your-family-asbestos-contaminated-vermiculite-insulation for more information. It is recommended to contact a qualified Industrial Hygienist to test the materials and if needed have mitigation performed by a qualified Asbestos Abatement Contractor.

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Thanks for your response, I’m just surprised that 2 of the 4 homes that I have inspected have had, what I believe to be, asbestos pipe insolation. I live in a small community and I’m wondering if every home built before the 1970s has it?

Wayne:
You need to be careful with possible ACM in reports. Pipes wrapped with what appears to be ACM are only a health hazard if the wrap is damaged. Health hazards exist if the fibers are friable ( air borne).
Asbestos related health hazards occur after extended exposure to high levels of friable fibers.
You don’t catch asbestosis by walking past it. Not like catching a cold.
Check the EPA website for more information.
Cheers

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Wayne - did you take any photos? it a good idea to post a photo of what you are questioning so that we can see what you are referring to. While it i possible that the homes you are in could have asbestos pipe insulation it is not probable that so many do. Since often the only person reviewing the home is a home inspector it is a good idea to call attention to suspected items like asbestos, otherwise the buyer wont know until they move in and the cable TV guy says ‘what about all this asbestos’.

The attached picture is some asbestos pipe wrap in poor condition.

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Hello Wayne -
This comment is on all of my reports for homes/buildings built prior to 1990.
Steal this comment if it helps:

This comment concerns homes built prior to the mid 1980s.
Structures built prior to the mid 1980s may contain lead and/or asbestos. Lead is commonly found in paint and in some plumbing components, including pipe or duct insulation. The EPA does not recognize newer coats of paint as encapsulating older coats of lead-based paint. Asbestos is commonly found in various building materials such as insulation, siding, and/or floor and ceiling tiles. Laws were passed in 1978 to prohibit usage of lead and asbestos, but stocks of materials containing these substances remained in use for a number of years thereafter. Both lead and asbestos are known health hazards. Evaluating for the presence of lead and/or asbestos is beyond the scope of this inspection. Any mention of these materials in this report is made as a courtesy only, and meant to refer the client to a specialist.
Owners and/or purchasers should be aware that these materials may be present in, on, or under their home AND that their home inspector has not tested or performed any procedure involving touching, disturbing, testing or identifying these materials. Homeowners or purchasers should use due diligence with their concerns of these materials and the presence of these materials.
Consult with specialists as necessary, such as industrial hygienists, professional labs and/or abatement specialists for this type of evaluation.<<

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Alan,
thanks for commenting; one of the houses has exactly what you show in your picture and it’s in similar condition, with what looks like someone has removed some of the insolation, because parts of the pipes are bare. I’m going to attach a picture of the other type of pipe insolation, it is quite different. It’s on a large 12" pipe that used to be chimney for the previous furnace. it has a Johns Mansville label on in. I have a friend who works at this factory and he asked some of the oldtimers what they thought and they said there is a good chance it contains asbestos. But, I would love everyone’s opinions and comments.

Alan, there is a very high probability the the Transite contains asbestos but, as we have indicated, a laboratory will tell the true story.

Happy inspecting.

You might want to read about transite pipe here;
https://inspectapedia.com/chimneys/Transite_Asbestos_Chimneys.php

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and don’t lick that !

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Why not, it’s not like catching cold.

No, but you could catch something else. Who knows. LOL