Identifying and Handling Asbestos
Removing asbestos can be a crucial process. It requires extensive training. If not handled properly the small fiber particles in asbestos can leak into the air and can cause health complications. If you suspect that your property has asbestos. Immediately seek professional help from a licensed domestic asbestos removals company.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral made up of tiny fibers. When distributed, it can produce dust particles containing fibers. Then, if inhaled it can cause potential harm to human’s health.
Classifications of Asbestos
Asbestos has two categories. They are serpentine and amphibole. Both differ in physical characteristics.
Serpentine asbestos develops in a layered form, while Amphibole asbestos has a chain-like structure.
- Chrysotile (white asbestos)
- Amosite (brown asbestos)
- Crocidolite (blue asbestos)
Here are the different types of Asbestos and can be commonly found in the following:
- Ducts and appliances
- Automobile brake linings
- Boilers seals
- Insulation for pipes
- Cement sheets
- Pipe insulation
- Insulating board
- Ceiling tiles
- Thermal insulation products
- Insulate steam engines
- Spray-on coatings
- Pipe insulation
- Plastics and cement products
- Insulation products
- construction materials
How to tell if asbestos is present?
Identifying asbestos in your home, or business premises can be hard. It requires microscope analysis and examination. Asbestos is generally made up of fiber bundles that separate into long, thin fibers. Experts could identify it after they run a specific type of test.
Luckily, asbestos only releases harmful fibers if disturbed and doesn’t cause harm unless it’s inhaled. If you have any doubts about whether or not a material you come across is asbestos, for your safety leave it alone. Then, seek professional help. Keep in mind all Asbestos are harmful to your health.
Health effects of Asbestos
Research has been done on various health implications of asbestos. It was discovered during the early 70s. Many people died due to Asbestos health issues, according to oregonstate.edu. If the particles are inhaled or swallowed it can cause these following diseases:
- Lung cancer
- Might cause other cancers in; the esophagus, larynx, oral cavity, stomach, colon, and kidney.
People who are at a higher risk include:
- Miners and textile workers.
- Families who live near asbestos mines.
- People who smoke.
- Young children whose parents work in asbestos mines.
- Roofing contractors.
- Carpenters and joiners.
- Fire and burglar alarm installers.
- Anyone using asbestos for construction.
- Workers who work in a building whereby asbestos has been disrupted.
How to test asbestos?
Thinking of performing a DIY asbestos test? Well, think about it twice. The long-term side effects of asbestos exposure are more expensive than hiring an accredited company to run a test for you. Thus, you can save more time and money if you get a professional to do it.
Asbestos is odorless. You cannot also feel its presence by sight and color. It comes in different colors, forms and shapes. The fibers are small. Thus, making it quite difficult to identify.
Preparation for testing Asbestos
Getting as much information about the building you’re suspecting or inspecting can be very useful to understand whether asbestos is present or not.
You can do the following:
- Ask for records of previous asbestos work of the building.
- Talk to the previous owners or tenants, and ask questions about the materials they used in case they did any renovations.
- Check the equipment supplier or repairs.
- Contact the building builder if possible.
- Talk to the building manager or owner.
If you want to do a test, you can contact a specialist who can complete the task for you. Furthermore, if you find a broken piece of material and you suspect it contains asbestos, take the necessary precautions. After that, send it to a testing laboratory. Otherwise, just leave it and seek professional help. More companies are also offering emergency services.
Safety measures for asbestos removal (dos and don’ts)
- Do not disrupt asbestos
- Keep off the contaminated area
- Call for assistance from a reputable and accredited company
- Avoid eating, smoking, and drinking in an exposed site
- Do not sweep the dust remains from the asbestos
When is removal necessary?
If your building is more than 15years old, there’s a high chance that it has asbestos on it. For this reason, you might want to consider to do renovation. Then, only used asbestos-free materials.
There are few things you need to take care before demolishing your property. First, it needs to be inspected by an accredited government inspector. Second, notification must be made at least 10 working days prior to demolition. Lastly, all asbestos must be removed first before disposing the building.
We are all more than able to avoid this material and safeguard the health of the persons close to us. Let’s observe regulations and stay safe.