Asbestos & Lead

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for assuring a safe workplace at Cal Poly. While it is true there are buildings on campus with building materials containing asbestos and lead, these materials do not pose a hazard unless they are disturbed. Building materials that are assumed to contain asbestos are identified as Presumed Asbestos Containing Material (PACM). PACM is defined as thermal system insulation (TSI) and surfacing material found in buildings constructed no later than 1980. TSI is a material that was applied to pipes, fittings, valves to prevent heat loss. Surfacing material refers to material sprayed, troweled-on or otherwise applied to surfaces generally for acoustical purposes or fireproofing. Examples of surfacing materials include decorative finishes on ceilings or walls, fireproofing on structural steel, and acustical plaster.

EH&S maintains the Campus Asbestos Program, including extensive sampling records and works closely with Facilities to assure staff use proper work practices when working with asbestos containing materials.

If you think you have an asbestos or lead disturbance or release, leave the area immediately (evacuate others from the immediate area well), and shut the door. Contact your supervisor and then call Environmental Health and Safety at 805-756-5555 during business hours. If no one is available for a 24-hour response, call Campus University Police at 805-756-2281. Please do not leave a voice message, continue to call until you reach a live person to report the incident. Do not return to the area until permitted by Environmental Health and Safety.

Campus Asbestos Program Contact – Christina Juarez 805-756-6674

Building Demolition or Modification

Any building or structure modification or demolition must first be evaluated for the presence of asbestos and lead in affected building construction materials and may require prior notification to the APCD, under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) standard.

For assistance in determining the requirements associated with a demolition, please contact Erin Winett at