How Asbestos Went from Common to Hazardous
Depending who you're asking, asbestos can be defined a couple of ways. But one of the more popular ones includes its connotation as a hazardous substance: one which is both heat-resistant and commonly found in everyday materials such as brake linings, fabrics and building materials. Although this is a naturally occurring mineral, over the years, exposure to this substance has been directly linked as a major cause of pleural (i.e. of the lungs) mesothelioma.
Although unfortunately many have suffered from the negative effects of chronic exposure to asbestos, years of research have yielded safety and health measures that can be taken to protect you and your employees from such a tragedy.
Read on to learn more about the steps you can take to identify, remove and test the levels of this material.
Evolution of a Hazardous Material: From Everyday Substance to a Cause of Serious Negative Health Outcomes
Given the information spelled out above, you may be questioning how a material such as asbestos, ever became a commonly used material in the first place. Although the birth of the asbestos industry as we know it in the United States happened as early as the 1850s, it was not until nearly 1920 that the government officially recognized abnormally high risk of early deaths among asbestos workers.
What might surprise you more? It was not until 1934 that researchers were able to successfully link and confirm cases of asbestosis en masse. Before the 1970s, a British victim of exposure was able to file a personal injury claim which was upheld by the courts four years later. This is the landmark case that many now associate with subsequent claims by victims of mesothelioma and other negative health outcomes.
Identifying the Problem: Testing for Asbestos in Your Residence
To be certain, testing for asbestos is not something that should be taken lightly, or upon yourself. You will need to enlist the help of a professional in order to correctly identify the presence of this material in your home. You can use an easy to access list compiled via the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as federal law does not require that this form of testing be performed in singular, detached residences (although you should check your state stipulations for details).
Prior to testing, you should plan to turn off all of your ventilation disturbance sources, such as air conditioning units, fans, or anything else that might circulate the materials in the air. Make arrangements for those residing in your home, whether family members, friends or roommates, to be away during the testing process. You should also be sure to enclose the area as much as possible, and do not allow anyone into or out of the room during the process.
Asbestos Removal: Options for Pre-Existing Issues and Tips to Keep You Safe Until Removal
Already have a confirmed asbestos problem? Don't worry, there is a service for that.
In addition to arranging for the proper testing to take place, there are measures you can take in the meantime to keep yourself or your business safe from exposure. Be sure you never clean up known materials containing asbestos, if or when the need arises. Never allow anyone to do so with the use of a proper HEPA grade vacuum. In addition, you should not disturb any materials that are known to contain asbestos, as it typically is not shown to pose health risks as long as the material is left intact.
Learn More - Ask About Our Asbestos Removal and Abatement Services Today
We are ready to serve you whether your needs are commercial, residential or a blend of both. We are the leading experts when it comes to asbestos abatement projects, and ready to tackle any size project. Contact us today to find out more to protect your property from the dangers of asbestos.