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What Is Asbestos?
In the early 20th century, asbestos was celebrated as the building material of the future. Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral. It has been mined and used to strengthen ceramic materials since ancient times, but refinement processes improved in the early 1900’s which allowed it to be processed and incorporated into many different building materials. Ironically, the same properties that made it so valuable were also the same that made it so dangerous: durability, fibrous texture, heat resistance, etc.
Why Is Asbestos A Concern?
Why Is Asbestos A Concern?
Asbestos fibers are very durable, and when they come in contact with soft tissue, as they are when inhaled or consumed, they work into the living tissue and are extremely carcinogenic, especially with the fibers which can enter the lungs and cause cancer, especially mesothelioma. Due to its fire resistance, it cannot be disposed of through burning, and the fibrous nature means that it is early “friable” which means that small particles can break free from the substrate and become airborne. Without special breathing equipment, ventilation and filters, the dust created from asbestos-infused materials can quickly become life threatening to people and animals in the areas, especially affecting the respiratory system.
Why Is Testing Important?
It is the law to test for asbestos, but there are more than fines and permits that you should keep in mind when dealing with these requirements. The health and safety of your workers, tenants, and contractors is also at stake. Asbestos can continue to threaten the health of anyone exposed to it in a friable form. If your renovation project is done in an uncertain environment, you are also putting yourself at risk for being liable for damages if workers, inhabitants, or neighbors are affected by asbestos, so it really is in your best interest to make sure the job is done properly.
How to Test For Asbestos?
Types of building materials, such as floor tiles and acoustic ceiling materials are usually identifiable on sight, but other surfaces from walls to pipes, fabric, wallpaper, roofing, and other items must be sampled and examined thoroughly in a lab environment. Samples are taken from these areas and are carefully inspected, even if asbestos is suspected. It is not recommended to test for asbestos yourself, as safety equipment, procedural standards, and safety plans must be observed in order to prevent exposure and contamination. Due to the variety of products which contain asbestos, a comprehensive testing by professionals is the safest and most reliable way to test for asbestos.
The U.S EPA requires an asbestos survey prior to renovation for buildings built before 1980.
The material has been found to cause serious respiratory illness and lethal forms of cancer mostly through inhaling the fibers through dust and debris.
If any asbestos is found in the area being renovated, strict construction regulations come into play, including the requirement that only an asbestos certified contractor can be used for the renovations. All work must be performed in compliance with the EPA’s National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Asbestos (Asbestos NESPAP) [40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 61, Subpart M]. We can test your home, office or place of work for Asbestos, Lead, Mold, Allergens, Radon, VOC’s and much more.
Please contact us to discuss which testing will be right for you. Speak with one of our friendly client representatives today to discuss your needs and how we can quickly and efficiently meet them. Call us at 725.221.5286 of fill out our quick and easy Asbestos Testing Form to begin the process
Apex Environmental Consultants experienced team of environmental professionals provides comprehensive building inspections, develops management plans, drafts removal specifications and monitors asbestos abatement projects. We include on-site analysis when performing final clearance sampling on asbestos projects. Our licensed asbestos professionals answer your questions and explain asbestos guidelines and regulations. Apex provides you with clear and concise reports.
Asbestos Licensed Inspectors
- Identify and sample all materials which are suspected to contain asbestos
- Conduct inspections to OSHA Standards
- Perform comprehensive building inspections that detail the type, quantity and location of all materials determined to contain asbestos
- Provide a comprehensive, detailed report which includes specific floor plans and sample results
- Recommend the best plan of action for each material found to contain asbestos
Asbestos Project Monitoring
Our Licensed Asbestos Project Technicians:
- Ensure that all engineering controls are in place and comply with all local, state and federal regulations
- Ensure that proper work practices are followed and all documentation is complete
- Collect work-in-progress background samples to monitor fiber levels during abatement
- Perform post-abatement visual inspections and final clearance air sampling
- Provide a daily log of the projects progress
- Prepare a final written report which includes all project’s daily log, checklists and all sample results for the project.
Asbestos Project Design
Detailed specifications for contractor bidding include:
- The type, quantity and location of asbestos containing materials included in the scope of work
- The best abatement response for each material in accordance with local, state and federal regulations
- Monitoring requirements and parameters for background air quality samples
- Perform post-abatement visual inspection and final clearance air sampling