Asbestos was a material regularly used in building construction in the early 1940s-1970s. It acts as a great thermal insulator, and it was commonly applied to windows and doors to keep warm air inside and cold air out. In addition, it was applied to buildings to provide insulation against loud noises.
With all these positive characteristics, people overlooked the hazardous health effects of asbestos. Prolonged exposure to asbestos fibres leads to respiratory diseases such as lung disease and cancer. This is why asbestos removal has become an important service for many old buildings.
Proper asbestos removal requires adherence to high safety standards and established governmental procedures.
Health risks of asbestos
Asbestos fibres slowly but surely contaminate the lungs and respiratory tissue over a long period of time. Being exposed to asbestos often leads to the following diseases:
Mesothelioma refers to a cancer of the lining of the lungs. The condition interferes with proper lung functioning and it is always fatal.
Asbestos fibres can irritate the lungs over long periods and lead to the development of lung cancer. Most lung cancers are also fatal.
Asbestosis refers to the scarring of the lining of the lungs as a result of exposure to asbestos. While not always fatal, it can be difficult to treat and lead to many respiratory complications.
Where is asbestos present?
Asbestos is present in many parts of older homes and buildings. It is most likely to be found in areas where use of insulation material was necessary. Common places include:
- Floor tiles
- Window caulking and sealant
- Glue that attaches floor tiles
- Roofing material
- Duct insulation in HVAC systems
What does Asbestos removal involve?
Asbestos removal is an important process that needs to be carried out in homes and buildings where asbestos is suspected to be present. It should be carried out by professionals who are licensed and insured in asbestos removal. Due to the health hazards associated with asbestos fibres, the work needs to be done as safely and effectively as possible. The process typically involves:
Suspected areas are carefully inspected for asbestos content. Samples are taken from floors, roofs, and insulating material. The samples are then tested with a microscope or using an air test.
Sealing and decontaminating affected areas
If the samples test positive for asbestos, the area is first sealed off with industrial-grade plastic to prevent the fibres from escaping. Large fans are used to filter out the fibres from the surrounding air after which all materials containing asbestos are removed and disposed of according to established guidelines. And to finish the process, the room is properly vacuumed, wiped and cleaned.Share