Asbestos

Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are present in many of the buildings throughout Simon Fraser University. These materials do not pose a health hazard unless the asbestos becomes airborne through construction activities or deteriorated materials.

Compliance & oversight

In order to prevent exposure to airborne asbestos fibres SFU follows WorkSafeBC regulations and performs routine audits. Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) also maintains an ACM Database for use by the University community.

Database

Prior to impacting any campus building material, the material needs to be assessed for the presence of asbestos. Use the ACM Database to search for the presence of asbestos at the building and room level.

If the material being impacted is not listed in the ACM Database, then SFU will retain a 3rd party qualified hazardous building materials consultant to assess the material for asbestos content.

Identification

Locations on campus known to have asbestos containing materials are often identified with a red or black stylized ‘A’ with a circular border and are primarily found in fume-hood linings and ductwork, cement-textured coatings on ceilings, insulation on pipe straights, pipe fittings and boilers, or in building and underground piping systems. Please note that asbestos-containing floor tiles and drywall are not labelled.

Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) are primarily found in:

  • Cementitious textured coatings on ceilings and as overspray above ceilings
  • Fumehood linings and ductwork
  • Air handling system duct mastic
  • Window caulking and glazing mastic
  • Old lab counter tops
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Building and underground piping systems
  • Insulation on pipe straights, pipe fittings and boilers
  • Cement board backing radiators
  • Drywall joint compound
  • Fire door cores

Asbestos is removed whenever possible during building renovations or through routine building maintenance projects.

Working with ACM

Any labelled material containing asbestos must not be disturbed until the work has been authorized by EHS. Only suitably trained and qualified personnel familiar with current asbestos safety precautions will be permitted to work on the material. Those materials not labelled or identified otherwise, shall be considered asbestos-containing until analysis of the suspect material determines otherwise.

Audits

Audits of the asbestos management program are routinely performed by EHS to ensure the program is running effectively.  EHS conducts representative work order reviews and ride-alongs with Facilities Services staff to ensure asbestos-containing materials are being handled and managed appropriately in adherence to WorkSafeBC Regulations and Guidelines.

Government regulations

The governing authority for asbestos management in British Columbia is WorkSafeBC. Visit the WorkSafeBC - Asbestos website for regulatory requirements details, guidelines, and best practices.