Before the dangers of asbestos came to light, many sought after this material because of its “excellent heat resistance, versatility, strength and affordability (Penn Medicine).”
However, it wasn’t until 1978 that asbestos was banned in the United States due to its link to health problems like mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers. Unfortunately, millions of builders and manufacturers had already used asbestos in both residential and commercial buildings up to that point. In fact, builders were still permitted to use their current supply of asbestos which means that homes built as late as 1986 may contain asbestos.
Now homeowners with homes built before the 1980s may be living with asbestos all around them in the ceiling, paint, tiles, pipes, flooring, and insulation. If you suspect asbestos in your home, it’s critical to test for the mineral before renovating or tearing down the structure (Penn Medicine).
Asbestos-containing products, like paint, tiles or flooring, are generally harmless if undisturbed but can release toxins when broken or removed. Once the asbestos has been released into the air, you are at risk of inhaling or ingesting these particles which can lead to mesothelioma cancer, asbestos lung cancer and other serious health issues.
Did you know these microscopic asbestos fibers are .01 microns thick which is 18,000 times thinner than human hair (Asbestos.com)?
Asbestos abatement “involves the identification, removal, repair and encapsulation of materials or products in a structure to eliminate the threat of exposure to toxic asbestos fibers” (Asbestos.com). This process is highly regulated and should only be handled by certified professionals.
In fact, when looking for an asbestos abatement company, it’s important to do your research and learn about the types of asbestos abatement work the company handles. There are four different types of asbestos abatement work:
Class I asbestos work:
According to OSHA, Class I asbestos work is the “most potentially hazardous class” as it involves the removal of asbestos-containing thermal system installations and sprayed-on or troweled-on surfacing materials. “Thermal system insulation includes asbestos-containing materials (ACM) applied to pipes, boilers, tanks, ducts, or other structural components to prevent heat loss or gain. Surfacing materials include decorative plaster on ceilings and walls; acoustical materials on decking, walls, and ceilings; and fireproofing on structural members” (OSHA).
Class II asbestos work:
Class II asbestos work includes the removal of other types of asbestos-containing material that is not thermal system installations. This includes resilient flooring and roofing materials.
Class III asbestos work:
Class III asbestos work includes repair and maintenance in places where asbestos-contained materials or presumed asbestos-contained materials have been disturbed.
Class IV asbestos work:
Finally, Class IV asbestos work includes cleaning the asbestos-containing waste and debris that is a result of the construction, repair and maintenance work. This type of work can include “cleaning dust-contaminated surfaces, vacuuming contaminated carpets, mopping floors, and cleaning up ACM or PACM from thermal system insulation or surfacing material” (OSHA).
Asbestos abatement is meticulous and closely regulated due to the dangers it could pose and should be cautiously handled by licensed professionals.
Sasser Restoration is proud to be AHERA/DOSH certified so that we can safely serve our clients with asbestos abatement services. These certifications demonstrate that Sasser Restoration employees have been properly trained in conducting asbestos inspections and designing and conducting response actions at schools and public and commercial buildings.
If you suspect asbestos in your home or commercial building and you want to start the process of asbestos abatement before a remodel, DIY project or structural change, the first step is calling Sasser Restoration.