Asbestos was widely used in homes and structures from the late 1930s to the 70s, when it became clear that it posed some health hazards and its usage was discouraged and even banned. Originally, it was used due to its awesome fire resistant properties. Being a fibrous mineral, it has great strength and is durable. This makes it good for fireproofing and in providing insulation to structures.
Even if asbestos materials have been used in your house roof and it is still in excellent condition, when left undisturbed, usually they do not any serious risk. The mere presence of asbestos products or materials in your home or in a building is necessarily not hazardous. It becomes dangerous when those materials get damaged over the passage of time and get airborne. Asbestos that has been damaged might release harmful asbestos fibers into the air and hence become a health risk.
Regulations Governing Asbestos
Asbestos is regulated and monitored under an assortment of agencies and laws across the world. In the US for example, this comes under the mandate of the Environmental Protection Agency regulations governing asbestos removal. The disposal of asbestos materials and waste is overseen by the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.
Removal of Asbestos Waste Materials
Generally, removal being the most costly solution should be among the last options to be considered unless this is required by respective local or state regulations. Removal poses the biggest risk of fiber being released into the air. However, asbestos removal may become necessary when making some major changes to the entire home that could end up disturbing the asbestos material.
Asbestos roof removal may also become essential in case the asbestos material has gotten extensively damaged and may otherwise be beyond repair. Removal of asbestos bathroom roofs is a complex undertaking and should only be carried out by a contractor having special and appropriate training.
Engaging a Removal Contractor
- Confirm with the relevant authorities in your area such as the board that manages air pollution and the local work safety agency. Verify the reputation of the remover with your Better Business Bureau if the remover has previously had any violations relating to safety. You may also check out if they might have had any legal actions claims filed against them.
- Before the removal work commences, obtain a written contract that specifies the work schedule and plan plus strategies for cleaning up. Included should be how the remover intends to apply the applicable state, local and federal regulations.
- Additionally, get in touch your local and state health departments, your regional EPA office, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's regional office to know what the laws and regulations indicate regarding hiring of removal contractors.
- As the work is going on, insist that the removal contractor is continually applying sufficient water or a suitable wetting agent onto the material to minimize asbestos dust getting airborne. Ensure that the contractor is not breaking the removed asbestos materials into small pieces as this may release into the air harmful asbestos fibers.
- Upon the completion of the removal job, make sure the contractor does clean the bathroom work area using wet rags, mops and sponges. A standard house vacuum cleaner should never be utilized.