Arkansas Asbestos Laws

Asbestos exposure is not rampant in Arkansas, but is a cause for concern for those that have worked extensively with asbestos materials, such as construction workers, veterans and power plant workers.  Asbestos was also present in many public buildings, such as schools and a vermiculite processing facility in Little Rock.  Tainted vermiculite from Libby, Montana was responsible for sending Tremolite asbestos across the country.

Where has there been asbestos in Arkansas?

Aside from the places mentioned above, Fort Chaffee was found to have high concentrations of asbestos by the EPA, which led to the demolitions of these buildings.  Improper oversight and control may have allowed tainted materials to pollute the nearby area.

What is Regulation 21?

Regulation 21 refers to the Arkansas Asbestos Abatement Regulation, which sets standard procedures for the notification of asbestos materials, record keeping, procedure and disposal of asbestos waste.  Regulation 21 protects the residents of Arkansas through asbestos laws that set standards for the renovation and demolition of asbestos containing structures.  Regulation 21 also sets standards for licensing abatement contractions and others that work with asbestos.  This is a supplement to federal mandates and standards pertaining to these individuals.

How does Regulation 21 define asbestos?

Arkansas asbestos laws follow federal definitions of friable and not friable asbestos materials.  Any item that is more than 1% asbestos by composition is an ACM (asbestos containing material) and will be subject to notification and removal regulations.  Non-friable asbestos is generally not a threat to the health of inhabitants unless the structure is being demolished or there is reasonable belief that renovation will cause the non-friable material to crumble and release asbestos strands.  These crumbling materials are covered by Category II of the non-friable classification.

Friable asbestos is more likely to release fibers and will be soaked in order to remove it safely.  It will be wet up even when it is sealed and disposed.  Wetting the asbestos is the only way to ensure that no fibers escape and sicken those who might inhale it.  Collectively, any material that must be removed from a structure prior to having work done is classified as restricted ACM.  The inspector, certified by the state of Arkansas can better explain which materials are RACM.  

Do I need an asbestos inspection?

Certain structures are required by Arkansas asbestos law to undergo a thorough inspection with written evaluation before allowing construction to take place.  In inspection will typically include a laboratory inspection of samples to determine the threat posed by asbestos in the structure.

Does Arkansas inhibit asbestos litigation?

Unlike other states, Arkansas asbestos laws do not impose a strict statute of limitations on making claims against companies that have injured persons due to asbestos exposure.  As long as an Arkansas resident can prove that they have an asbestos related disease and this disease is the direct liability of the entity to take adequate safety precautions, damages can be won when pursing asbestos litigation in Arkansas.

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