Property managers, the New Year has just begun. Now is the perfect time to tackle the asbestos health hazard on your property that’s been on the back burner. Almost any home or apartment building constructed prior to 1986 (when its usage was banned in dwellings) could have asbestos built into it. Commonly, asbestos is found in ceiling structures or in attic insulation. While not all asbestos usage presents a danger to inhabitants, whenever it can be dislodged and filter down into the air as fibers, it presents a respiratory threat.
Asbestos is a super-material. It doesn’t conduct electricity, it is fire-resistant, and it withstands structural change when exposed to various chemicals. For many years, it was used widely as a building material. Scientists have proven, however, that asbestos causes death when humans are exposed to it in large quantities. To remove asbestos from your building, there are several methods you can pursue.
Asbestos abatement refers to the legal disposal, or thwarting, of toxins that pose a health threat to humans. While this often means outright removal of the asbestos component, the danger can be also eliminated by enclosing asbestos traces so that loose fibers cannot contaminate the air.
It may be impossible to remove asbestos when the toxin permeates building materials. In such cases, asbestos can be left in place if it is completely sealed off with a polyethylene protective plastic shell.
The procedures used to obstruct or remove asbestos must be compliant with local and federal guidelines. Asbestos abatement is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Labor, and in some cases, by state and local laws as well. Often times, the smaller agencies have regulations that are more stringent than the federal agencies.
As several companies in Michigan discovered in 2014, the penalties for not observing proper removal methods are severe.
In Seattle, Washington, two firms claiming to be certified in asbestos abatement were fined heavily and de-certified by the Department of Labor for not following removal guidelines. Washington officials declared that, “Removal of asbestos-containing building
Download a free copy of our Asbestos, Lead Paint & Mold eBook to learn how to mitigate the liability risks associated with common environmental threats found in residential properties.