Risk Management Services

A Unit of the Business Affairs Division

Thermal Systems Insulation

Background

Thermal System Insulation (TSI) is used to control heat transfer or prevent condensation on pipes and pipe fittings, boilers, tanks, ducts, and other parts of hot and cold water systems; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; or other mechanical systems. These insulation materials include pipe lagging, pipe wrap, HVAC duct insulation, block insulation, cements and muds, and a variety of other products such as gaskets and ropes.

Protection From Asbestos Exposure During TSI Removal

There are several levels of protection to help prevent asbestos fiber release during asbestos TSI removals.

  • TSI is not readily accessible to building occupants – TSI is commonly found in mechanical rooms and above drop down ceilings in buildings.
  • Wet Methods – Whenever TSI is removed from piping, it is thoroughly wetted to ensure asbestos fibers do not become airborne.

  • Glove Bag Removal – for the handling of the TSI. When properly installed and used, glove bags provide a small work area enclosure typically used for all stripping operations.
  • Waste Material Handling – Once materials are removed, they must be double bagged in layers of 6 mil thick plastic and then sealed with duct tape. The materials also must be segregated into a dumpster used only for asbestos waste. No removed asbestos containing materials are permitted to accumulate in the building or on the job site.
  • Trained & Certified Workers – In accordance with the University's specifications and County, State and Federal regulations, the workers removing the materials are trained and certified in accordance with an EPA recognized training program. The contractor is certified and registered for this type of asbestos work as well.

Some Other Information

You may see some of the contractor's employees putting on respirators and white suits. This can be, quite understandably, a little disturbing. However, OSHA regulations require that all persons working with asbestos containing materials wear respiratory and other personal protective equipment while they are working, regardless of other control methods in place the prevent the release of fibers. Signs at the entrance to work areas are also an OSHA requirement to inform people of the area where asbestos containing materials are being removed. The University mandates that the asbestos contractors maintain strict adherence to the aforementioned regulations. In addition, The Department of Risk Management Services closely monitors all asbestos removal projects to ensure compliance.