Asbestos Removal

Asbestos is a toxic construction material that has particularly adverse health effect. Inhalation of microscopic asbestos fibrils that become airborne as soon as asbestos products age causes severe lung diseases including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. Professional asbestos removal is critical for preventing exposure and its fatal consequences.

What is Asbestos and Its Exposure Risks

Asbestos stands for the group of six naturally occurring silicate minerals with extraordinary natural properties – resistance to heat and fire, tensile strength, good sound isolation, and durability against chemical and electrical damage. These properties made people consider asbestos a wonder material for roofing, flooring, pipe and ceiling insulation, concrete, brick, gaskets, fireproof drywall and drywall joint compound, etc. Thus, asbestos had been excessively used until the late 20th century, when first researches on the health effects of this material started.

The results of the asbestos research are definite and terrifying: all types of asbestos fibers are human carcinogens. Namely, asbestos causes the following severe diseases and conditions:  

  • Lung cancer – a malignant tumor invading and blocking the passage of air.
  • Mesothelioma – a relatively rare form of cancer of the thin membranes that line lungs, chest, abdomen and other internal organs. Signs of mesothelioma may appear even 30 or 40 years after exposure to asbestos.
  • Asbestosis – progressive scarring of lungs that causes shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage leading to respiratory failure.
  • Nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders – including pleural plaques, thickening, and effusions.

It is important to note that the chemical processes present in the creation of asbestos bricks or cement do not neutralize this negative impact. Nor the dangerous properties fade away with time. Even decades-old asbestos cement upon damage releases asbestos fibers of an unaltered state

Asbestos Removal Process

Despite the ban of asbestos products, many homes, schools and other building constructed before 1980 are very likely to still contain asbestos. To understand if you might be suffering from the exposure to asbestos, you need to refer to the certified asbestos professionals who will test your home for the presence of asbestos.

If asbestos has been found in your home, it should be safely removed. Asbestos removal process, known as asbestos abatement, follows rigid regulations defining the procedures certified professionals should follow. The key requirements are

  • to use special equipment such as high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filters and Class H vacuum cleaners that do not allow asbestos fibers to escape the area of asbestos removal;
  • to wear personal protective equipment (protective clothing and respirators) in the asbestos abatement area;
  • to seal off the area of asbestos removal with plastic sheets to prevent the spreading of fibers and demarcating the site as a hazardous area;
  • to take precautions against the spread of asbestos fibers into heating or air conditioning systems;
  • to wet down all materials during removal and cleanup;
  • to handle asbestos waste, the user equipment, and workers’ clothing in a proper manner.   

Asbestos Removal Company

Asbestos removal may be performed only by certified professionals. Thus, it is important that you check the certification of the asbestos abatement company before any works begin. You may also check if the company had any safety violations with the Better Business Bureau.

Make sure you sign a written contract with an asbestos removal company that will detail the removal, cleaning and disposal procedures. The contract should specify all state and local laws that guide these procedures. When the works are done, it is good to re-evaluate the site to make sure asbestos has been entirely removed.  

Remember that proper asbestos removal protects not only you and your family but also the whole community from the harmful consequences of its exposure.

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