This is a legacy version of the WELL Building Standard. Please check the latest version here.

Fundamental material safety

Some hazardous materials, such as asbestos, a known human carcinogen, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a probable human carcinogen, are currently restricted or banned in many countries, but are often encountered in older buildings. Others, including lead, remain in limited use. Exposure to asbestos fibers through inhalation can occur when building materials degrade over time or are disturbed during renovation or demolition, and is associated with lung cancer and mesothelioma. Exposure to lead can have neurotoxic effects, even at low levels, and in early development is associated with negative effects on memory, IQ, learning and behavior. (Please refer to Table A3 for additional details.)

Part 1: Asbestos and Lead Restriction

All newly-installed building materials meet the following materials composition requirements:

a. No asbestos.
b.190 Not more than a weighted average of 0.25% lead in wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures, and 0.20% for solder or flux used in plumbing for water intended for human consumption.
c.36 Not more than 100 ppm (by weight) added lead in all other building materials.
Part 2: Lead Abatement

For repair, renovation or painting on buildings constructed prior to any applicable laws banning or restricting lead paint, lead evaluation and abatement is conducted in accordance with the following guidelines:

a.31 An on-site investigation of the commercial space conducted by a certified risk assessor or inspector technician to determine the presence of any lead-based hazards in paint, dust and soil using the definitions in U.S. EPA 40 CFR Part 745.65 for residential dwellings or child-occupied facilities.
b.31 All commercial and institutional spaces found to have lead-based hazards must adhere to U.S. EPA 40 CFR Part 745.227 work practice standards for conducting lead-based paint activities, as outlined for multi-family dwellings.
c.31 Adherence to final rules, as they are proposed by the U.S. EPA, regarding the lead renovation, repair and painting program for public and commercial buildings (RIN: 2070-AJ56) supersedes adherence to definitions and protocols outlined in U.S. EPA 40 CFR Part 745 for residential dwellings or child-occupied facilities.
Part 3: Asbestos Abatement

To reduce hazards in buildings constructed prior to any applicable laws banning or restricting asbestos, the following testing, evaluation and abatement is conducted:

a.33 Projects conduct asbestos inspection every three years through an accredited professional per Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)’s Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan (MAP), National Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), accredited asbestos consultant (State or local equivalent) or by a U.S. EPA accredited company experienced in asbestos assessment.
b.33 In accordance with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), development, maintenance and update of asbestos management plans, including all necessary actions to minimize asbestos hazards: repair, encapsulation, enclosure, maintenance and removal, follow protocol detailed in the Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule (40 CFR part 763).
c.33 Projects conduct post-abatement clearance in accordance with Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools (40 CFR part 763).
Part 4: Polychlorinated Biphenyl Abatement

Any projects undergoing current renovation or demolition which were constructed or renovated between 1950 and the institution of any applicable laws banning or restricting PCBs carry out the following:

a.34 Conduct evaluation and abatement of materials in accordance with the U.S. EPA Steps to Safe PCB Abatement Activities.
b.34 Conduct removal and safe disposal of PCB-containing fluorescent light ballasts in accordance with the U.S. EPA guidelines.
Part 5: Mercury Limitation

Mercury-containing equipment and devices are restricted in accordance with the below guidelines:

a.1 Project does not specify or install new mercury containing thermometers, switches and electrical relays.
b.1 Project develops a plan to upgrade current mercury-containing lamps to low-mercury or mercury-free lamp technology per limits specified in Appendix C, Table A5.
c.1 Illuminated exit signs only use Light-Emitting Diode (LED) or Light-Emitting Capacitor (LEC) lamps.
d.1 No mercury vapor or probe-start metal halide high intensity discharge lamps are in use.
Part 6: Playground Equipment Safety

The following requirements are met:

a.167 Lead paint on playground equipment is assessed and remediated in accordance with the Consumer Product Safety Commission Staff Recommendations for Identifying and Controlling Lead Paint on Public Playground Equipment.
b.166 Playground equipment composed of pressure treated wood is remediated in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency’s Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA): Consumer Advice Related to CCA-Treated Wood, or replaced using oil-based, semi-transparent stains.
c.165 Sample, evaluate and apply protective actions to mitigate risks associated with lead contaminated artificial turf per guidelines outlined in Evaluating and Regulating Lead in Synthetic Turf.
Cardiovascular
Respiratory
Nervous

Applicability Matrix

Core & Shell New & Existing Buildings New & Existing Interiors
Part 1: Asbestos and Lead Restriction P P P
Part 2: Lead Abatement P P P
Part 3: Asbestos Abatement P P P
Part 4: Polychlorinated Biphenyl Abatement P P P
Part 5: Mercury Limitation P P P
Commercial Kitchen Education Multifamily Residential Restaurant Retail
Part 1: Asbestos and Lead Restriction P P P P P
Part 2: Lead Abatement P P P P P
Part 3: Asbestos Abatement P P P P P
Part 4: Polychlorinated Biphenyl Abatement P P P P P
Part 5: Mercury Limitation P P P P P
Part 6: Playground Equipment Safety - P - - -

Verification Methods Matrix

Letters of Assurance Annotated Documents On-Site Checks
Part 1: Asbestos and Lead Restriction Architect
Part 2: Lead Abatement Remediation Report
Part 3: Asbestos Abatement Remediation Report
Part 4: Polychlorinated Biphenyl Abatement Remediation Report
Part 5: Mercury Limitation Policy Document
Part 6: Playground Equipment Safety Remediation Report
1

U.S. Green Building Council. LEED v4: Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction. Washington D.C.: U.S. Green Building Council; 2013: 37, 43-44, 541-552, 567, 605, 623, 645-53, 658-61, 682-3, 685-6, 723-4.

11.5.a

USGBC’s LEED v4 For Healthcare: MR prerequisite, PBT Source Reduction - Mercury bans the use of mercury containing equipment, including thermostats, switching devices and other building systems in new construction (of healthcare facilities).

11.5.b

USGBC’s LEED v4 For Healthcare: MR prerequisite, PBT Source Reduction - Mercury recommends phasing out mercury products and upgrading current mercury-containing lamps to low mercury or mercury-free lamp technology in renovating healthcare facilities.

11.5.c

USGBC’s LEED v4 For Healthcare: MR prerequisite, PBT Source Reduction - Mercury recommends that projects only specify and install illuminated exit signs that use Light Emitting Diode (LED) or Light-Emitting Capacitor (LEC) lamps.

11.5.d

USGBC’s LEED v4 For Healthcare: MR prerequisite: PBT Source Reduction - Mercury recommends that projects do not install or specify mercury vapor type high intensity discharge (HID) lamps and probe start metal halide HID lamps in interior spaces.

31

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Work Practice Standards for Conducting Lead-Based Paint Activities: Target Housing and Child-occupied Facilities. http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/745.227. Published 1996. Accessed September 15, 2014.

11.2.c

The EPA's Work Practice Standards for Conducting Lead-Based Paint Activities document establishes requirements for conducting lead-based paint activities.

11.2.a

The EPA's Work Practice Standards for Conducting Lead-Based Paint Activities document establishes requirements for conducting lead-based paint activities.

11.2.b

The EPA's Work Practice Standards for Conducting Lead-Based Paint Activities document establishes requirements for conducting lead-based paint activities.

33

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Guidelines for Conducting the AHERA TEM Clearance Test to Determine Completion of an Asbestos Abatement Project. Published 1989: 5

11.3.a

AHERA's Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan establishes asbestos limits.

11.3.b

The EPA's Guidelines for Conducting the AHERA TEM Clearance Test to Determine Completion of an Asbestos Abatement Project guidelines establish requirements for conducting post-abatement checks.

11.3.c

The EPA's Guidelines for Conducting the AHERA TEM Clearance Test to Determine Completion of an Asbestos Abatement Project guidelines establish requirements for conducting post-abatement checks.

34

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Steps to Safe PCB Abatement Activities. http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/tsd/pcbs/pubs/caulk/guide/guide-sect4... . Published 2012. Accessed 2011 .

11.4.a

The EPA's Steps to Safe PCB Abatement Activities establishes PCB abatement procedures.

11.4.b

The EPA's Steps to Safe PCB Abatement Activities provides guidance on the handling, storage, and disposal of PCB waste.

36

U.S. Green Building Council. Pilot Credit 54: Avoidance of Chemicals of Concern. http://www.usgbc.org/node/2606894?return=/pilotcredits/Commercial-Interi.... Accessed September 15, 2014.

11.1.c

USGBC's LEED v4 Pilot Credit 54, v3 2009 requires that a minimum of 20%, by cost, of at least 3 building product and material types must not contain lead and lead compounds greater than 0.01% (100 ppm) as calculated by mass.

165

Ulirsch, GU, Gleason, K, Gerstenberger, S, Moffett, Pulliam, G, Ahmed, T, Fagliano, J. Evaluating and Regulating Lead in Synthetic Turf. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2010; 118(10): 1345-9. http://www.synturf.org/images/NIEHS-http___ehp03.niehs.nih.gov_article_f.... Accessed March 30, 2015.

11.6.c

The authors recommend an "interim standardized approach for sampling, interpreting results, and taking health-protective actions" for the assessment of lead in synthetic turf.

166

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA): Consumer Advice Related to CCA-Treated Wood. U.S. EPA website. http://www.epa.gov/oppad001/reregistration/cca/cca_consumer_doc.htm. Updated February 7, 2014. Accessed March 30, 2015.

11.6.b

The EPA notes that some studies suggest that the application of oil-based or semi-transparent stains "may reduce the migraton of wood preservative chemicals from CCA-treated wood."

167

Consumer Product Safety Commission. CPSC Staff Recommendations for Identifying and Controlling Lead Paint on Public Playground Equipment. CPSC website. http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Business--Manufacturing/Business-Education/Lead/C.... Published October 1, 1996. Accessed March 30, 2015.

11.6.a

The CPSC Staff Recommendations for Identifying and Controlling Lead Paint on Public Playground Equipment identifies potential lead poisoning hazards in some public playground equipment and provides recommendations for controlling such hazards.

190

Environmental Protection Agency. Use of Lead Free Pipes, Fittings, Fixtures, Solder and Flux for Drinking Water. Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Section 1417.

11.1.b

Section 1417 of the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Act defines “lead free” as a weighted average of 0.25% lead calculated across the wetted surfaces of a pipe, pipe fitting, plumbing fitting, and fixture and 0.2% lead for solder and flux.