Why Asbestos Abatement and Disposal are Best Left to the Pros - Alliance
August 4, 2021

Why Asbestos Abatement and Disposal are Best Left to the Pros

Written by Alliance Environmental

Asbestos abatement professionals work with a commitment of keeping people safe and provide healthy indoor environments. These experts stay aligned with all OSHA, EPA, Department of Transportation, and county-specific air quality district rules and regulations.

Proper handling of asbestos-containing materials is not only integral to the health of those working with it, it’s essential to the health of those around them who may also be impacted through contaminated air circulation, clothing, or even tools and equipment. The associated danger is so serious, it is the actual legal obligation for those working with asbestos to dispose of it properly.

The danger of asbestos
Asbestos contains fibrous minerals that break off, become airborne, and have major impacts on people’s health when they’re inhaled. Research has linked asbestos exposure to lung cancer and other diseases. Because of its heat resistance and structural integrity, asbestos was commonly used in the past for several building materials and household products. However, today the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) warns those remodeling or demolishing older properties of the hazards associated with asbestos-containing products. The CDPH also regulates the packaging, transportation, and disposal of asbestos on these projects. In fact, when it comes to asbestos abatement and disposal, it’s typically best left to experienced professionals who have the expertise, training, tools, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to deal with the hazardous material effectively and safely.

It must be underscored that improper handling and disposal of asbestos puts both workers and the general public at risk for serious health complications and lung diseases, most of them incurable. There are massive health and legal responsibilities associated with asbestos abatement, including potential associated fines and penalties when regulations are violated. In light of this, when it comes to handling hazardous asbestos, building owners are encouraged and incentivized to hire asbestos abatement companies that follow state-mandated regulations and work to preserve public health. Due the carcinogenic properties associated with asbestos, these expert abatement professionals are trained and licensed in best practices around carefully working with these materials. In the case where asbestos is even suspected to be in a home or building’s materials, these professionals will conduct a thorough inspection and assessment of the property prior to starting any work. This way the home or building owner receives an expert opinion around how to handle the asbestos abatement project, as well as a reliable time and cost estimate for the project in order to avoid added costs and surprises. A proper consultation also ensures that the necessary permitting is more easily and quickly secured so the project can move smoothly forward.

Advantages of hiring an asbestos abatement company
Hiring a professional and trusted asbestos abatement company brings several key advantages for the home or building owner. The first is a well-prepared work area. Properly sealing off the area with plastic sheeting, including covering all necessary surfaces within it, can be a time and labor-intensive process for those not trained and experienced in doing so.

In addition, a professional service provider will have the proper negative air pressure units to prevent contamination from spreading into the air outside the area. During the asbestos abatement work period, these expert technicians also arrive equipped with the latest certified PPE including an N or P-100 respirator and protective clothing. These technicians know how to carefully disable the HVAC system in order to protect it and prevent any asbestos fibers from circulating into the air throughout the entire indoor space. Using commercial grade wet wipes, products, and HEPA vacuum cleaners, these professionals not only get the job done right, but they also leave it clean, dust-free, and safe at the end of the project to ensure the health of all the people who use and visit the space.

When the asbestos removal is complete, the project is far from finished. Asbestos abatement professionals must then safely and properly dispose of the asbestos-containing materials and waste products. The first part of that safe disposal lies in wetting down the asbestos-contaminated materials prior to removal. Next, it is to be double-bagged in plastic bags that meet state-mandated regulations. This means these materials are enclosed within a plastic, leak-free, sealed container that’s been properly labeled. Professional asbestos abatement service providers also know exactly which landfills have been approved and designated to take on asbestos waste, as well as the proper procedures to adhere to ensure the landfill can accept it when they show up.

Along with major demolition projects where asbestos-containing hazardous materials are a threat, comes the decontamination process in addition to safe disposal. Many professional asbestos abatement service providers will make use of decontamination units they have readily available. These enclosed systems are installed near the worksite for workers to remove any potentially contaminated clothes, shoes, and even tools they’ve used for the abatement project. Proper removal, disposal, and/or decontamination of all clothing, tools, and equipment used in an asbestos abatement project helps break the cycle of decontamination to keep workers, their families, and the general public safe from the serious health effects these fibers can effect on those who come in contact with them.

Remember, there are legal implications when it comes to asbestos
It’s also a good reminder to keep in mind the potential legal and regulatory consequences that surround improper asbestos removal and disposal. This is important when people consider the health of their loved ones and especially given the responsibility associated with public spaces, businesses, and rental properties. A legal ruling that improper asbestos removal and/or disposal has occurred can be devastating to the business and the person in charge of that decision-making. So, how can a home or business owner, or even a manager entrusted with the responsibility, be sure their asbestos abatement service provider can properly handle the job? Thanks to California’s Business and Professions Code, companies who advertise their asbestos removal and disposal services are prohibited from conducting business unless their technicians and the business as a whole qualify for the proper certification under California’s OSHA registration system.

The best asbestos abatement service providing companies are led by visionaries who take their responsibility to their customers and people in general extremely seriously. They ensure their crews adhere to the most stringent setup, decontamination, and asbestos disposal procedures that ensure they’re aligned with all OSHA, EPA, Department of Transportation, and county-specific air quality district rules and regulations. They’re also happy to show the people they serve proof of these certifications and compliance measures. Finally, these professionals have a genuine desire to help keep people safe and provide them the healthy indoor environments they not only deserve, but that play a major role in preserving their health.

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