General Notice

Asbestos is the name given to a number of naturally occurring fibrous minerals with high tensile strength, the ability to be woven, and resistance to heat and most chemicals. The Toxic Substances Control Act defines asbestos as the asbestiform varieties of:  chrysotile (serpentine); crocidolite (riebecktie);  amosite (cummingtonite/grunerite); anthophyllite; tremolite; and actinolite.  Historically, asbestos fibers have been used in a wide range of manufactured goods, including pipe insulation, sprayed-on fire proofing and floor tiles.  However when asbestos-containing material is friable (able to be crumbled or pulverized by hand pressure) or becomes damaged, microscopic fibers can become airborne and inhaled into the lungs.

The inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers increases one's risk of developing certain types of lung disease: the risk is increased for those who smoke.  Disease symptoms may take many years to develop following exposure. Continued exposure to airborne asbestos over time may increase one's chance of developing serious diseases including asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma.

As the Herbert C. Hoover Building (HCHB), located at 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20230, contains, and manages in place, asbestos materials (for lagging, fireproofing, floor tiles, etcetera), all are hereby informed that current and historical records regarding asbestos testing throughout the building are located with the HCHB Safety and Occupational Health Manager in Room 1317.  The records are available to be viewed upon request to the HCHB Safety and Occupational Health Manager by calling (202) 482-2520 during normal working hours.

Office of Facilities and Environmental Quality
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Send questions and comments about this page to ContactOFEQ@doc.gov

Page last updated:November 25, 2013