Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used in a variety of miscellaneous and building materials. Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers can enter the respiratory system and are responsible for diseases, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.

There are two risk categories for asbestos, friable and non-friable.

  • Friable: easy to break or crumble by hand, causing harmful dust to be released. A common example is pipe insulation.
  • Non-Friable: not easily broken up by hand. Asbestos fibers are encapsulated and considered non-hazardous as long as they are undisturbed. Common examples are floor tiles and the mastic beneath them.


Where can it be found?

Asbestos may be present in buildings constructed prior to 1981 and can be found in the following materials or locations:

  • Ceiling tiles
  • Floor tiles (including mastic/glue)
  • Insulation (ceiling, wall, and piping)
  • Surfacing materials (wall and ceiling texturing)
  • Joint compounds



  • OSU employees who perform work activities involving actions that may disturb asbestos are required to complete Asbestos Awareness Training.
  • Supervisors must ensure that new employees complete the required training prior to performing work duties that could result in contact with asbestos.


Role of EH&S

Environmental Health and Safety’s role for managing asbestos is to provide guidance and consultation to Facilities Services and campus community members. Asbestos management is primarily handled through Facilities Services.



Asbestos Hazards Awareness Oveview Program



If you believe you have encountered asbestos in your work area, please contact OSU Facilities Services or EH&S for assistance prior to disturbance.

Facilities Services