As we discussed in a previous post, asbestos is a common name for a group of six fibrous silicate minerals that can be easily woven into fabrics. Asbestos fibers are extremely thin, even thinner than human hair. You cannot see them with naked eyes, so they can be easily inhaled into the lungs.
Asbestos abatement means the removal of asbestos, and this procedure is considered mandatory wherever people are exposed to disturbed asbestos. When people are exposed to asbestos for a very long period of time, it adversely affects their health, often leading to death as we’ve seenin the recent years.. This element has many dangerous hazards to it, and lung diseases are the most encountered health problems among all. But everyone does not have the same exposure and risk from asbestos.
When asbestos is broken or distressed, tiny fibers come out in the form of dust and enter the lungs, raising health concerns. The human body does not have the ability to wash out these fibers, so once the asbestos enters your body, it stays there forever. Asbestos has been known to cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and intestinal cancer when inhaled for long periods of time.
Many building materials include asbestos in them, and it is not necessary to leave the building if the asbestos is in good condition and undamaged. But any damage to the building material may allow the microscopic fibers to escape into the air, requiring immediate asbestos abatement. In such cases, you must call an asbestos abatement expert having special training. Health experts advise against asbestos abatement if the building you are living in has undisturbed asbestos because it is better to leave it alone than disturbing it through the abatement procedure.
The role of an asbestos abatement advisor
An asbestos abatement advisor is a certified consultant who is responsible for testing asbestos in materials. They give advice on conducting safe asbestos abatement and also certify the work of an asbestos abatement contractor.
The role of an asbestos abatement contractor
An asbestos abatement contractor is accountable for determining if a ”Health and Safety Executive” license is needed for the work. The removal contractor evaluates the requirements for the abatement, carries out the abatement procedure, and safely disposes of the dangerous materials.
Measures to take if asbestos is accidentally damaged
If you damage any asbestos-containing material by mistake and don’t have an asbestos abatement expert nearby, do the following:
- Wipe off the dust from the material with a wet cloth and keep the dampened cloth in at least two 6-mil plastic bags.
- Close the bags individually and make sure that the dust does not come out in any way.
- Properly label the outside of the bags.Check with your landfill to see if they can accept the asbestos materials you wish to dispose of.
Don’t use a regular vacuum cleaner to clean up the dust, because it will not filter all the minute particles. It will also increase the chances of releasing asbestos fibers in open air. If the material having asbestos in it gets cracked, then seal it with glue or paint. If the damage is more than that, replace the entire sheet and dispose of the damaged one properly.
If you have any concerns about your safety when you have accidentally damaged asbestos, you should consult an asbestos professional for guidance.