What to Expect During Asbestos Abatement
Asbestos is a durable, fire-retardant fiber that was used extensively in a wide variety of construction materials up until the early 1980s. Extensive research found it to be a highly hazardous cause of lung cancer and other grave illnesses. These materials are not dangerous if they are in good condition and undisturbed. They only become dangerous if the material is disturbed or damaged so that asbestos fibers are released in the air where they can be inhaled. Improper removal may increase the health risks to you and your family.
Abbotts highly-trained and certified personnel employ a variety of protocols to control fiber release from asbestos including removal, encapsulation, repair, enclosure, and encasement. Improper asbestos removal may result in breathing asbestos fibers into the lungs which can cause a range of diseases including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Asbestos abatement is costly because of the federal regulations governing the process and protective measures taken to ensure the safety of building inhabitants as well as asbestos abatement workers and the public.
The Asbestos Abatement Process
The asbestos remediation process requires detailed knowledge about hazardous materials safety protocols as well as removal procedures and reconstruction.
Abbotts will conduct a thorough inspection of your property to identify possible asbestos-containing materials. We then have an independent firm conduct testing to determine the presence of asbestos. Once the asbestos testing results are received, we determine the best approach for asbestos abatement in compliance with EPA Safe Work Practices and OSHA regulations as well as applicable local laws.
Protective clothing is typically worn by workers during the asbestos abatement process consisting of disposable coveralls, a head cover and foot covers that are made of a synthetic fabric that reduces exposure to airborne asbestos fibers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires workers to wear protective clothing anytime they could potentially be exposed to fiber levels above permissible levels (as determined by OSHA). The use of approved respirators may also be needed for certain tasks.
Once workers arrive on site, they will begin the asbestos abatement process by setting up a containment area. This process involves sealing air ducts, disabling HVAC systems, setting up negative pressure equipment, and plasticizing walls, floors, ceilings, and any other necessary areas. This effectively creates a vacuum that keeps the hazardous material from contaminating adjacent areas. Special equipment filters contaminated air in three stages, removing asbestos particles and enabling properly protected workers to remove the asbestos-containing material and clean the area.
Asbestos abatement plans include asbestos removal, encapsulation, repair, enclosure, and encasement. Asbestos is carefully sealed in special bags and transported to a facility approved for asbestos disposal. Once asbestos-containing material is removed from the home or building, any equipment used or clothing worn by workers must also be properly removed in order to prevent contamination of any other areas of the building. Afterward, the area is thoroughly cleaned and a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum is used to gather small particles of dust.
When the asbestos is removed and the area thoroughly decontaminated, an independent certified industrial hygienist conducts a clearance test to ensure that the asbestos abatement was successful and asbestos fibers no longer pose a health threat. This ensures that the abatement contractor followed proper procedures during the abatement process and any airborne asbestos is well below permissible levels.
If you have any questions or concerns during your Asbestos Abatement project, our Customer Care representatives are happy to assist.
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