Friday, July 25, 2014

NYSDOH Announces The Imminent Availability of Vermiculite Analysis

On July 22, 2014, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) sent out a follow up communication to the July 9, 2013 interim guidance letter.  This communication is regarding the imminent availability of two new NYSDOH Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP)-approved methods for the detection and quantitation of asbestos content in spray-on fireproofing that contains vermiculite.  The communication indicates that these new methods will be available by October 31, 2014.  Click here for the July 9 2013 letter and click here for the new communication.  Otherwise you can find both communications at our website  click on the FED Training CD in the Helpful Links and Info folder.

Vermiculite-containing Sprayed-on Fireproofing is the focus of the communication
After October 31, 2014, one of the two methods must be used to test sprayed-on fireproofing regardless of the percent of vermiculite.  This document does not indicate any information about the methods other than the asbestos inspector must collect a minimum of 10 grams of the sprayed-on fireproofing (versus the 100-500 milligrams for 198.1 and 198.6).  Nor does it indicate what labs will be doing this analysis.  In addition, the two methods are only for vermiculite-containing sprayed-on fireproofing.  Other materials still must use the 2013 interim communication with the disclaimer and bulk vermiculite is still asbestos containing material (ACM).
日本語: バーミキュライト
日本語: バーミキュライト (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The new communication is interesting for its lack of information.  First it does not indicate anything about the new methods other than the need for a larger quantity of material.  It gives no indication of what it will take to analyze the material, what the turnaround will be, who the laboratories will be, costs, etc.  It is specifically only for vermiculite containing sprayed-on fireproofing.  In addition, it means an asbestos inspector will need to add a new tool to the sampling kit, a scale.  Taking a sufficient sample that ensures the laboratory gets a minimum of 10 grams.  Maybe not that difficult, but could be annoying if you make a mistake.  Don't forget you are still required to take either 3-5-7 or 9 samples of the sprayed-on fireproofing and it only takes one sample for the homogeneous material to be positive for asbestos.  Even more interesting was industry implications on the last page of the communication.  That stated after October 31, 2014 you are required to use one of the two methods to analyze vermiculite containing sprayed-on fireproofing, not surprising.  Though it is based on what stage your project is in.  Needless to say we look forward to hearing more about the new methods and the real implications they will have on the asbestos industry.      

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