Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral used for centuries for its durability and insulation qualities. Unfortunately, it has also been linked to several serious health risks when inhaled or ingested. For this reason, asbestos removal and remediation are critical in protecting people from long-term exposure to this hazardous material.
Asbestos removal and remediation is a complicated process that requires special training and equipment. It is essential to understand the risks associated with this procedure to ensure the safety of those involved. This article will discuss why asbestos removal and remediation are necessary and the steps involved in the process.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral used for centuries for its durability and insulation qualities. The most commonly known types of asbestos are blue, brown, and white.
- Blue asbestos is responsible for most asbestos-related deaths and is no longer used in the US.
- White asbestos has been more widely used in the US, though it is still considered dangerous.
- Brown asbestos, commonly referred to as “crocidolite,” has been most widely used in other countries, though it is now also considered dangerous.
There is a lot of confusion around the terms “asbestos removal” and “asbestos removal and remediation,” as these words are often used interchangeably. The term “removal” is often associated with the removal of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) from the structure, whereas “remediation” refers to the decontamination of the area.
Health Risks of Asbestos
Asbestos fibers can become airborne during construction and demolition activities and the removal or remediation of ACMs. These fibers can cause short-term and long-term health issues when entering the lungs. Short-term health effects of asbestos include coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain, while long-term health effects include cancer, mesothelioma, and an increased risk of lung infections. Asbestos removal and remediation are necessary to prevent these health risks.
Why Asbestos Removal and Remediation are Necessary
ACMs are often found where there has been previous asbestos use, and there are certain situations where you must take special preventive measures to remove them. Examples of situations that require Asbestos Abatement removal include construction and demolition activities and maintenance and repair work on water and sewer infrastructure.
Everyone must follow the Strict rules and regulations regarding asbestos removal and remediation to ensure the safety of those involved. ACMs that are brittle or in poor condition must be removed and remediated by a licensed asbestos contractor.
Removing and disposing of ACMs that are in good condition is much less risky, though there are still steps that must be taken to ensure safety. It is important to note that you must be trained and certified if you consider removing an ACM yourself. Otherwise, you must hire a professional asbestos contractor.
Steps Involved in Asbestos Removal and Remediation
The steps involved in asbestos removal and remediation depend on the situation. Still, they generally include identifying ACMs, assessing their risk, removing and disposal of the ACMs, and decontaminating the area. Identifying ACMs can be done through visual inspection or specialized equipment. ACMs must be removed and decontaminated in most situations, but they can be encapsulated in some cases.
Decontamination is removing and disposing of any remaining ACMs and cleaning the area to remove any remaining asbestos particles. It is important to note that decontamination must be conducted by a licensed lead abatement services contractor, as it is a hazardous process.
Dangers of Improper Asbestos Removal and Remediation
Improper asbestos removal and remediation can lead to serious health issues and even death. In cases where the ACMs are in poor condition, the particles can become airborne and be ingested and inhaled.
Occasionally, ACMs can be broken up using a high-pressure water jet known as “wet removal.” Wet removal is typically done for materials that are covered with water. In this case, the water can help to break up the ACMs and keep them from becoming airborne. Wet removal is generally done in areas with low levels of asbestos. High-pressure water jets can also remove asbestos particles during decontamination. However, they must be done safely to avoid releasing the particles into the air.
Asbestos Regulations and Laws
Depending on where you live and the level of risk, asbestos regulations or laws may dictate when and how asbestos must be removed and remediated. In other states, however, a licensed asbestos contractor must be involved in the removal process, no matter the condition of the ACMs. Some states, such as California, have special requirements for asbestos removal, including the need for a licensed contractor, a certified supervisor, and a licensed decontamination company.
Professional Asbestos Removal and Remediation Services
Professional asbestos removal and remediation services can help ensure proper asbestos removal and decontamination and protect the health of those involved in the process. Asbestos contractors are trained and certified in the proper techniques for removing and decontaminating ACMs and are required to use appropriate safety equipment, such as respirators and protective gear, to protect from exposure to hazardous fibers.
As a homeowner, you may worry about the cost of hiring a professional asbestos contractor. Still, it is essential to remember that the expense is worth it, as it will help prevent serious health issues. Additionally, federal and state programs offer financial assistance for asbestos removal and remediation.
Costs of Asbestos Removal and Remediation
The costs of asbestos removal and remediation depend on the level of risk and will vary depending on the situation and location. The average price of asbestos removal and remediation is between $7,000 and $25,000.
The cost of asbestos removal and remediation may seem expensive, but it is essential to consider the long-term health risks associated with asbestos exposure. By hiring a professional asbestos contractor to remove and decontaminate the area, you can ensure that the site is free of asbestos and that those working there are adequately protected from exposure.
Tips for Choosing a Professional Asbestos Removal and Remediation Company
When hiring a professional asbestos removal and remediation company, there are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure you are aware of the regulations and laws in your area. To be appropriately licensed, companies must meet the state requirements for training and certification. Another essential factor to consider is insurance. Make sure the company you hire has proper insurance to cover accidents that may occur during removal. It is also a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the company has any complaints against it.
Asbestos removal and remediation are necessary when ACMs are in poor condition. These materials may be brittle and need removal and decontamination, or they may be in good condition and need to be removed to avoid releasing the fibers into the air. It is essential to understand the risks associated with asbestos exposure and be aware of the regulations and laws in your area. Choosing a professional environmental cleanup services contractor can help ensure proper asbestos removal and decontamination and protect the health of those involved in the process.