V. Review of Asbestos Terminology

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Teachers College, Columbia University
Printer-friendly Version
Teachers College, Columbia University Logo

Environmental Health and Safety

The Office of

Environmental Hazards Policy & Responsibilities

V. Review of Asbestos Terminology

In order to provide as much clarity as possible, listed below are a few key definitions:

  1. Abatement - An approved method for handling asbestos containing materials (i.e. removal, encapsulation, enclosure).
  2. Air Monitoring - Collection of "asbestos in air samples" by a 3rd party according to method NIOSH 7400 protocol to evaluate the hazard potential of asbestos exposure.
  3. Asbestos Building Survey - The identification, evaluation, and quantitation of ACM in a building.
  4. Asbestos Encapsulation/Wrap & Repair - The covering of an asbestos containing material which a bridging or penetrating encapsulating agent or covering the asbestos containing material with a wettable canvas material impregnated with a latex encapsulating agent.
  5. Asbestos Enclosure - The physical enclosure of the asbestos containing material on the area where the material is present with a hard permanent barrier. The insulated vertical heating risers located behind exterior/perimeter walls and above hard plaster Ceilings may be considered to be enclosed if the walls are not demolished or otherwise penetrated.
  6. Asbestos Containing Material - (by NYCDEP) any material that has been determined by laboratory testing to contain 1% or greater asbestos.
  7. Asbestos Removal Project - The physical removal of asbestos containing materials by a licensed Contractor employing trained and licensed personnel and following the applicable regulations.
  8. Friable/Non-Friable - (by NYCDEP) any asbestos or ACM that can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder when dry, by hand or other mechanical pressure.
  9. Operations and Maintenance Program - A program which addresses the in-place management of asbestos containing materials to insure compliance with all regulatory programs and protect human health (involves periodic re-inspection and air sampling).
  10. PCM - Phase contrast microscopy is the standard approved method for analysis of "asbestos in air" samples.
  11. PLM - Polarized light microscopy is the standard approved method for analysis of "asbestos in bulk" samples.
  12. TEM - Transmission electron microscopy is the "state of the art" (lowest achievable detection limit) method for analysis of "asbestos in air and bulk samples".
  13. VAT - Non-friable vinyl asbestos containing floor tile.
  14. NYC DEP ACP-7 "Asbestos Project" Notification Form - An ACP-7 must be completed and submitted to the NYC DEP Asbestos Control Department at least seven working days in advance of asbestos abatement projects involving 25 linear/10 square feet or greater of friable ACM per level (in addition, for large projects, the project must be filed with the NYS DOL and EPA NESHAPS division at least 10 calendar days from the start date of the abatement project).
  15. NYC DEP ACP-5 "Not an Asbestos Project" Notification Form - An ACP-5 form has multiple applications; non- friable transite and floor tile as well as "minor" quantities of friable ACM (less than 25 linear/10 square feet) of friable ACM may be removed under an ACP-5; an ACP-5 is also used to provide documentation that, while ACM may be present, it will not be impacted during a renovation project. An ACP-5 form must be signed and stamped by a licensed NYC Asbestos Investigator.