Asbestos removal refers to the professional services of removing asbestos (a group of naturally occurring minerals made up of heat-resistant fibers historically used in building materials due to their heat resistant qualities . Due to these strong qualities, asbestos was used for fireproofing and insulation. It was also commonly used as a binding component for many building materials.
However, recent research shows that asbestos can cause various conditions, including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. Also, prolonged exposure to asbestos increases the chances of digestive system cancers.
Because of the above-mentioned dangers, the use of asbestos has been banned. Stakeholders in the building industry are now focusing on safer alternatives in place of asbestos. Even with all these moves, the public is still not totally safe from the effects of asbestos exposure. Many structures that were fireproofed or insulated using asbestos are still standing today. During demolitions or renovations, asbestos may be disturbed, become airborne, and affect people.
Asbestos is not banned in the U.S. While attempts have been made to ban it over the years, the U.S. continues to import and use asbestos. The latest U.S. Geological Survey reports an estimated 300 metric tons of asbestos were imported in 2020.
Per the title – you first need to first emphasize testing your building materials prior to renovations or demolition will determine whether your project may unknowingly disturb asbestos and create an immediate health hazard by releasing airborne asbestos fibers.
Hiring an asbestos removal company, and not doing it yourself, is the wisest and safest decision when it comes to removing asbestos from any residential, commercial or public building. Asbestos abatement companies will properly test for the toxic mineral, follow strict regulations and processes, and carry the right abatement removal equipment to keep them, others and you safe from exposure.https://www.asbestos.com/abatement-guide/
As a homeowner or worker, you should consider contacting an asbestos abatement company if you are renovating. Additionally, leave it to professionals if you have worn out or broken asbestos-containing materials. They can assess the situation, and if required, perform asbestos encapsulation or removal.
Asbestos-containing materials that are still intact are considered safe. However, you will need to monitor them for wear or damage carefully. Notify the experts as soon as you notice any wear or tear in the asbestos-containing materials.
Thousands of materials have asbestos incorporated in them. Some consumer industries have asbestos included in products due to its durability and fire-resisting abilities.
Buildings erected before 1980 may still have asbestos-incorporated materials. However, these materials are not visible to the human eye. Therefore, they are difficult to identify. It is thus paramount for you to identify materials that may contain asbestos to avoid exposure to it. You can’t tell whether a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it, unless it is labeled. If in doubt, treat the material as if it contains asbestos or have it sampled and analyzed by a qualified professional. A professional should take samples for analysis, since a professional knows what to look for, and because there may be an increased health risk if fibers are released.
Here are some materials known to frequently contain asbestos
Asbestos in Buildings
Many building materials are known to contain asbestos. In some cases, asbestos was applied as a fireproofing coating to beams. It was also mixed with compound and plasters for ceilings and walls.
In this reference, asbestos-containing pipes and boiler insulations often had the highest amount of asbestos at 70%. Following these are the troweled-on or sprayed insulation material containing 14% asbestos. Thousands of buildings still have these insulated pipes and beams.
Therefore, homeowners and construction workers are still at risk of being exposed to asbestos while re-modelling or renovating these houses or buildings.
Handling and Removing Asbestos
If you suspect that asbestos is present, hire a professional to take the samples of materials for asbestos testing.
If they find asbestos, the experienced professionals will encapsulate it or remove and safely dispose of the material.
Handling any asbestos materials or products can be potentially dangerous. It is, therefore, strictly a job for professionals. If the asbestos materials become damaged or broken, the asbestos fibers can easily become airborne and harmful.
Research has it that there isn’t any safe level of asbestos exposure. So, you will need to do everything you can to prevent disclosure. You can only do this by letting professionals handle anything related to asbestos removal.
Abatement professionals are trained to follow the procedures and the federal and state laws regarding the removal of asbestos. The EPA requirement is for professionals to undergo thorough training and accreditation. Asbestos abatement is the recommended, safe and legal way of removing asbestos from a building, a worksite or home. Only professionals with EPA contractor licenses are allowed to handle asbestos in the US.
Although you will find many do-it-yourself abatement guides online, EPA recommends that you not attempt to handle asbestos yourself unless you are a professional. If you do, you risk being exposed to it. The process is highly regulated and involved due to the inherent risks. Typical procedures requiring a site visit, planning he work, notification of regulatory agencies of removal, demarcating and setting up the work area, use of specialized equipment including High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuums, negative air machines, water, special waste disposal bags, and detailed final cleaning procedures. In addition, air monitoring professionals monitor the project for worker and building occupant safety. Disposal requires scheduling an appointment, compliant packaging, manifesting, and asbestos disposal fee rates.
Have you suspected asbestos-containing materials in your home, demolition or renovation site? Quickly contact asbestos abatement professionals to guide you on the safe and legal way of removing asbestos from your building or area. Since asbestos removal is very dangerous for your health and is not visible, do not try to do it yourself. Reach out to a certified asbestos abatement company.