Asbestos is a substance that occurs naturally in rocks and soils. It is very durable and resistant to heat and as such was used extensively as insulation in homes and businesses beginning in the 19th century. In the very late 20th century the health hazards of exposure to asbestos were revealed and a movement ensued to remove the product from those structures.
Asbestos can cause pulmonary issues. Asbestosis is a chronic condition that has been linked to exposure to the substance. This is not cancer but by inhaling the asbestos fibers and dust produced by the element, scar tissues are developed in the lungs. The longer and more intense the exposure, the greater the impact. This is an irreversible condition.
The Dangers of Asbestos
Mesothelioma and lung cancer have been identified as diseases that can result from prolonged or intense exposure to the mineral. Asbestos fibers cannot be broken down by the human body and once they are lodged in the tissues, especially the lungs, it becomes very serious. Cigarette smoking can exacerbate the effects of exposure to asbestos. Even microscopic portions of the fibers can be inhaled or ingested and trapped in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat, where they can be removed, but if swallowed or with entry into the lungs, health problems worsen.
Asbestos was used in ceiling and floor tiles., cabinetry, shingles, fire doors, and other places. If undamaged or undisturbed, some of these products are not as likely to release harmful elements. However, if the final product is very easily crumbled, the fibers are more likely to be released into the air.
Having asbestos in your home, office building, factory, or retail store, is not necessarily a problem. However, with time the products will deteriorate and release the fibers into the air, which can prove deadly over time.
Asbestos Abatement Services
Asbestos abatement is the identification, removal, and disposal of products containing asbestos or the threat of dispersal into the air. This is a project that should only be handled by a professional who has experience dealing with the substance, with trained employees, proper safety equipment, and safe disposal techniques. These companies are able to remove asbestos from residences, commercial properties, and industrial sites. Click here to learn more. They should also be experts at rebuilding the areas where the asbestos was removed, any restoration or renovation necessary in conjunction with this job. Many offer emergency responses.
Not all companies that deal with asbestos will offer a full environmental service. Before contracting with a company, be sure that it has all of the qualifications necessary to deal with the matter. This includes developing a comprehensive plan and clearly marking the hazardous area. The work area must be set up with thick plastic, air pressure differential, and turning off all HVAC or ventilation.
The material should be removed using approved tools and placed into waste disposal bags. There should be a decontamination area available. Using special HEPA vacuums, the area will be cleaned and the area inspected per local and national guidelines. Keep all reports and documentation that you are provided regarding the process.