WHAT IS AN ASBESTOS ABATEMENT?
Asbestos abatement is the process used to remove and dispose of asbestos containing building materials used in most building structures before
1980. An asbestos abatement is performed by a specialized contractor who holds an “Asbestos Abatement License” with a DOSH certification.
Abatement involves the following:
• Erecting site barriers and access controls
• Installing containment materials such as plastic coverings over walls and floors or even the entire dwelling
• Establishing a “negative air system”
• Installing a “decontamination” chamber that involves a shower system with hot water and special filtration
• Employee protection: body suit, respiration equipment, medical surveillance and certification required
• Proper removal and handling of asbestos contaminated materials
• Air monitoring and encapsulation
• Transportation of asbestos contaminated materials by a certified carrier
• Disposal at an approved site.
WHAT IS ASBESTOS
Asbestos is an organic mineral that occurs naturally in certain rock formations. Because of its various properties and low cost, asbestos was used in numerous building products. The use of asbestos was banned in 1978. However, because many building products remained on the shelves, it was used for years there after.
If asbestos is disturbed, it may release airborne fibers. These fibers, when inhaled, have been determined to cause pulmonary disease and cancer. Asbestos containing materials, if in good condition and not disturbed, do not pose a health threat. The only way to be certain if a material contains asbestos is to have it tested by an “AsbestosLaboratory”. Most sample taking and lab reports can be obtained for a nominal fee.
WHAT ARE THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS?
The handling of any products containing asbestos is governed by the EPA and OSHA regulations. Many countries
have also enacted local air quality regulations and enforcement agencies.
EPA and local agencies oversee the removal of all Asbestos Containing Materials which contain asbestos concentration of 1% or more. OSHA regulates asbestos as it relates to worker safety and the handling of Asbestos Containing Materials of .01 % or more. Specific regulations govern the removal, transportation and disposal of all Asbestos Containing Materials. Because severe civil and criminal penalties can apply for improper handling, it is always best to call in a licensed asbestos contractor.
Current federal, state, and local regulations govern all properties where a demolition or renovation will occur. An asbestos survey is required of the work area in order to detect Asbestos Containing Materials. If they are found, then an asbestos abatement must be performed prior to any construction activities