Some building owners are required to perform regular asbestos management surveys. Federal regulations mandate these surveys for all public schools and most government buildings, as well as all older buildings that are set for demolition or renovation. However, other building owners can conduct these surveys on their own schedule – or not at all.

However, even when asbestos management surveys are optional, owners should still consider regular testing for the general health and wellbeing of the building’s occupants. If asbestos is present and friable, the building’s occupants are at risk for a number of serious conditions, including pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer. Their risk will remain elevated for several decades, during which they may develop these illnesses at any time. Normally, the life expectancy of someone with mesothelioma is one year.

Asbestos management surveys can help prevent people from developing these conditions. The surveys help building owners identify asbestos-containing materials and determine which ones are immediate health hazards. Inspectors can provide suggestions for remedial action for these products and help owners decide between removal or encapsulation. Asbestos surveys also provide documentation of non-friable asbestos products that may become a threat in the future.

Scheduling Asbestos Surveys

Before scheduling an asbestos management survey, building owners should check the credentials of the company they plan to hire. Accredited asbestos management companies should always perform the surveys, and all inspectors should have up-to-date licenses.

Owners should evacuate the building during the survey, since inspectors may take samples of the fibers. To provide the most accurate results, surveyors should review the following details before the survey:

  • Site layout
  • Building specifications
  • Future building plans
  • Past asbestos inspection history

Depending on the type of asbestos and its condition, surveyors should inspect an asbestos-contaning building every six to 12 months. If any renovations impact the results of the survey, inspectors should perform another follow-up inspection to ensure the safety of the building’s residents.

Author bio: Faith Franz researches and writes about health-related issues for The Mesothelioma Center. One of her focuses is living with cancer.

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Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for Alliance Environmental Group and AirTek Indoor Air Solutions. We welcome your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on indoor air challenges, Like us at AirTek on Facebook!