Chapter 70.310 RCW

LABELING OF BUILDING MATERIALS CONTAINING ASBESTOS

Sections

70.310.010Purpose of chapter.
70.310.020Definitions.
70.310.030Labeling requirement for asbestos-containing building materials.
70.310.040Placement of labelContent of label's noticeTampering with label unlawful.
70.310.050Enforcement of chapterPenalties.


Purpose of chapter.

Asbestos is a known human carcinogen that causes painful, premature deaths due to diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung and gastrointestinal cancers, and other diseases and cancers. Activities that can lead to the release of asbestos fibers include installation, use, maintenance, repair, removal, and disposal of asbestos-containing building materials.
Many people are unaware that asbestos-containing building materials are still imported, sold, and used in the United States. Because few regulations exist that require the disclosure of asbestos in building materials, people can unknowingly be exposed to asbestos. Asbestos is generally invisible, odorless, very durable, and highly aerodynamic. Exposure can occur well after it has been disturbed and long distances from where the asbestos release occurred.
The purpose of this chapter is to allow people to make informed decisions regarding whether or not they purchase or use building materials containing asbestos. More specifically, building materials that contain asbestos must be clearly labeled as such by manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors.



Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Asbestos" includes the asbestiform varieties of actinolite, amosite (cummingtonite-grunerite), tremolite, chrysotile (serpentine), crocidolite (riebeckite), anthophyllite, and any of these minerals that have been chemically treated or altered. The chemical abstracts service registry number for each is as follows: Asbestos (1332-21-4), actinolite (13768-00-8), amosite (12172-73-5), tremolite (14567-73-8), chrysotile (12001-29-5), crocidolite (12001-28-4), and anthophyllite (17068-78-9).
(2) "Asbestos-containing building material" means any building material to which asbestos is deliberately added in any concentration or that contains more than one percent asbestos by weight or area as determined using the United States environmental protection agency method for the determination of asbestos in building materials, EPA/600/R-93/116, July 1993.
(3) "Building material" includes materials designed for, or used in, construction, renovation, repair, or maintenance of institutional, commercial, public, industrial, or residential buildings and structures. The term does not include automobiles, recreational vehicles, boats, or other mobile means of transportation.
(4) "Consumer" means any person that acquires a building material for direct use or ownership, rather than for resale or use in production and manufacturing.
(5) "Department" means the department of ecology.
(6) "Person" means any individual, firm, public or private corporation, association, partnership, political subdivision, municipality, or government agency.
(7) "Retailer" means any person that sells goods or commodities directly to consumers.



Labeling requirement for asbestos-containing building materials.

(1) Effective January 1, 2014, it is unlawful to manufacture, wholesale, or distribute for sale an asbestos-containing building material that is not labeled as required by RCW 70.310.040 or as required under federal law, 40 C.F.R. part 763, subpart I, Sec. 173.171 (1994). The labeling requirement also applies to stock-on-hand, meaning any asbestos-containing building material in their possession or control after December 31, 2013, must be labeled. Retailers that do not manufacture, wholesale, or distribute asbestos-containing building materials are exempt from this chapter.
(2)(a) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to asbestos-containing building materials that have already been installed, applied, or used by the consumer.
(b) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to asbestos-containing building materials used solely for United States military purposes.
(3) Any manufacturer, wholesaler, or distributor may submit a written request for an exemption from the labeling requirements of this chapter, and the department may grant such an exemption if it determines that the labeling requirements are technically infeasible or create an undue economic hardship. Each exemption is in effect for a period not to exceed three years from the date issued and is subject to the terms and conditions prescribed by the department.



Placement of labelContent of label's noticeTampering with label unlawful.

(1) A label must be placed in a prominent location adjacent to the product name or description on the exterior of the wrapping and packaging in which the asbestos-containing building material is placed for storage, shipment, and sale.
(2) A label must also be placed on the exterior surface of the asbestos-containing building material itself unless it is sold as a liquid or paste, is sand or gravel, or an exemption is granted pursuant to RCW 70.310.030(3).
(3) Asbestos-containing building materials must have a legible label that clearly identifies it as containing asbestos. The department may adopt rules regarding the implementation of this chapter. At a minimum, the label must state the following:
CAUTION!
This product contains ASBESTOS which is known to cause cancer and lung disease. Avoid creating dust. Intentionally removing or tampering with this label is a violation of state law.
(4) It is unlawful for any person to remove, deface, cover, or otherwise obscure or tamper with a label or sticker that has been applied in compliance with this section, unless the asbestos-containing building material is in the possession of the end user.



Enforcement of chapterPenalties.

(1) The provisions of this chapter may be enforced by the department, local air authorities, or their designees.
(2) A person found in violation of this chapter is subject to the penalties provided under RCW 70.94.431.