Asbestos is a mineral – or, to be more precise, a set of six different minerals. Human beings have mined asbestos for more than four thousand years, but its useful physical properties – including resistance to fire damage, decent tensile strength, and its economic viability – made it particularly desirable at the start of the industrial revolution. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that people across the world began to raise concerns about related health issues: long-term inhalation of asbestos fibers leads to a series of potentially fatal illnesses, including respiratory conditions and various forms of cancer.
By the 1980s, the use and trade of asbestos was heavily restricted across the world. By the 1990s, many countries had banned its use outright; the US Environmental Protection Agency banned most products containing asbestos in 1978. With the symptoms of asbestos exposure often taking decades to manifest, however, related litigation has turned into the longest and most expensive ongoing action in US history in terms of pain and suffering claims.
What to do if You Suspect Asbestos
Asbestos is found in building insulation, pipe insulation and boiler insulation are certainly four of its more predominant applications, once upon a time. Unfortunately, asbestos was used in many industrial products as well. It was once common in floor tiles, industrial-strength adhesives and cements, wall paneling, vinyl, and various forms of plaster. Its use was particularly prevalent in the fashioning of fireproofing materials, as asbestos is highly resistant to damage from fire, electricity, and chemicals.
In certain forms, asbestos is prone to damage from casual contact, such as accidental cutting or abrasions from having something rub up against it for a long period of time. This is often the case with insulation. Some asbestos products may also be prone to water damage, particularly from decades of exposure in an industrial setting.
Specially licensed firms such as BioRestore can remove unwanted asbestos quickly, efficiently, and safely. In the event that a commercial property maintains illegal asbestos-based insulation or other products, it needs to be taken out. Its continuing presence poses an ongoing risk to the health of those individuals who live in the vicinity, as well as those who work in the surrounding area. This is of a particular concern where schools are concerned; roughly half of all school buildings in the US were built before restrictions on the use of asbestos were widely imposed.
How Asbestos is Removed
BioRestore offers flexible scheduling, clearly written proposals, and fast, free cost estimates with regard to our asbestos removal services.
The process is uncomplicated, but thorough.
First, all necessary permits particular to the job must be acquired. This is particularly likely to be a requisite in the case of work involving school buildings. Next, the removal team arrives on-site at the designated time, isolates the work area, and enters with the use of protective suits and respirators. Asbestos materials are safely removed and contained within the isolated area, before being removed from the site.
Once all offending materials are removed, the site is wet-washed thoroughly, and a HEPA vacuum designed to pick up minute particulate matter is used to thoroughly clean every surface. Afterward, the team conducts an air clearance test. If asbestos still registers, the wet-washing and vacuuming is repeated, and checks are performed to ensure that all of the asbestos was removed.
Once an air clearance test is successfully conducted without showing signs of asbestos, it is double-checked. With everyone in the clear, a detailed clearance report is provided. The team then dismantles the equipment, including all elements of isolation, and allows the rightful owner to reoccupy the site.
When to Remove Asbestos
In a commercial or industrial setting, the chances of disturbing an otherwise inert asbestos product are much higher than they are in an average home – where an intact asbestos product may often be left alone. If you own such a property, you need to have any asbestos products removed as soon as possible. This greatly reduces the risk of future long-term health complications, as well as directly reducing your liability.