Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral. There are six types, all of which are composed of long and thin fibrous crystals, each fiber being composed of many microscopic "fibrils" that can be released into the atmosphere by abrasion and
other processes. It was used in numerous building materials and vehicle products for its strength and ability to resist heat and corrosion before its dangerous health effects were discovered.
Asbestos may be found in many different products and many different places. Examples of products that might contain asbestos are:
- Sprayed-on fire proofing and insulation in buildings
- Insulation for pipes and boilers
- Wall and ceiling insulation
- Ceiling tiles
- Floor tiles
- Putties, caulks, and cements (such as in chemical carrying cement pipes)
- Roofing shingles, felt, tar, flashing
- Siding shingles on old residential buildings
- Wall and ceiling texture in older buildings and homes
- Drywall, drywall tape, plaster
- Joint compound in older buildings and homes
- Brake linings and clutch pads
On the University of Michigan Dearborn campus, asbestos may likely be found in a number of building materials, including but not limited to the following:
- Sprayed-on insulation in locations such as various mechanical rooms, steel reinforcing beams, and some ceilings in older buildings.
- Ceiling tiles in buildings built prior to 1981.
- Most 9" floor tiles in buildings built prior to 1981.
- A few 12" floor tiles in buildings built prior to 1981.
- Insulation around pipes and boilers, and
- Interiors of fire-rated doors.
When left undisturbed and intact, asbestos containing material (ACM) or presumed asbestos containing material (PACM) does not represent a hazard to faculty, staff, or students.
If you have reason to suspect that something is asbestos, either because it is labeled as such, or because it is something that is likely to contain asbestos (e.g., 9" floor tile), DO NOT DISTURB IT.
It is important to immediately report any damaged asbestos-containing materials (ACM) to the EHS Department at 313-583-6692 or 313-583-6679.