Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used in building construction materials such as shingles, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, insulation, drywall, cement and paper. Microscopic asbestos fibers can become airborne and inhaled into the lungs when asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed by repair, remodeling or demolition activities. Asbestos exposure can cause significant health problems such as Mesothelioma.
The asbestos content in most building materials has been regulated in the U.S. since the late 1970’s; however asbestos use in flooring materials has never been banned. In addition, any materials obtained from overseas may still contain regulated quantities of asbestos. Thus, the commonly asked question “Was it built prior to 1980?” should only be used as a rough guideline and not as an excuse to forego testing. No building, regardless of the date of construction, is exempt from state and federal asbestos regulations.
If you are planning on remodeling or demolishing a building, consider having the materials sampled before work begins to make sure you are not exposing those in the environment to unnecessary health risks. The state of Georgia requires that if the quantity of materials to be disturbed is greater than 10 square feet, asbestos testing must be performed. Localities will require proof of testing prior to issuing any construction permits.
Materials identified as containing asbestos must be disposed of in a specialized manner. An asbestos abatement company can help ensure proper disposal of asbestos containing materials. Once the asbestos containing materials have been removed, other construction debris can be disposed of normally. If asbestos materials are not removed first, then all debris must be treated as though it contains asbestos and must be disposed in a specialized landfill, a far greater expense than normal disposal.
Air Allergen and Mold Testing provides asbestos testing and monitoring services for contractors, demolition services, industrial, commercial, government and residential clients throughout the Greater Atlanta area.