If damaged asbestos-containing materials are not properly removed by an asbestos abatement company, they can endanger your life and the lives of others who come into contact with asbestos dust, fibers or raw asbestos materials.
Fast Facts About Asbestos
Inhaling or ingesting asbestos can lead to serious health issues such as mesothelioma cancer, asbestosis, pleural plaques, and asbestos lung cancer. About 3,000 people have diagnosed annually with mesothelioma in the U.S. An estimated 10,000 people die annually from some type of asbestos-related disease. Microscopic asbestos fibers are .01 microns thick (18,000 times thinner than a human hair).
Steps to Take if You Suspect Asbestos Contamination
The most important first step is to not touch suspicious materials. Let a professional asbestos abatement company handle the job.
Keep Children Out of Area
Limit Activities in the Area
Call a Licensed Asbestos Abatement Company
Don’t Sweep, Vacuum or Dust Possible Asbestos Debris
Don’t Remove Suspicious Materials
Tips for Hiring an Asbestos Abatement Company
Asbestos abatement companies are not all the same. Some specialize only in asbestos abatement, while others offer environmental services, demolition services and general contracting services that may include abatement. Within the U.S., asbestos abatement regulations vary from state to state and city to city, some extend beyond the federal laws that require Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) licensing.
Homeowners are not legally required to use a licensed asbestos abatement company, but it is strongly recommended.
Before hiring an asbestos abatement company, verify its qualifications. Find the one that best suits your needs.
Type of Asbestos Abatement Work
Class I asbestos work:
Activities involving the removal of asbestos used to prevent heat loss or gain, surfacing asbestos-containing materials and those suspected of containing asbestos.
Class II asbestos work:
Removal of nonthermal asbestos-containing materials such as wallboards, floor tiles and sheeting, roofing and siding shingles and construction mastics.
Class III asbestos work:
Repair and maintenance operations of any asbestos-containing materials that will likely be disturbed. This is the type most likely used for removing asbestos.
Workers are trained in:
- Pre-Asbestos Abatement Activities
- Work Area Preparation
- Establishing Decontamination Units
- Using Personal Protection (Respirator and Protective Clothing)
- Worker Decontamination Procedures
- Safety Considerations in Abatement Area
- Proper Handling & Disposal of Asbestos Waste