Asbestos and lead-based paint aren’t devils of the past.
They can still be found, and they can cause fatal health problems.
Despite cleanup efforts, there is still enough asbestos and lead-based paint to last for generations. While not dangerous if remained undisturbed, if not maintained properly, they can deteriorate and become a serious health hazard to both adults and children. Many homeowners or businesses can’t afford lead-based paint or asbestos abatement. It can cost thousands of dollars depending on the size of the project. Fortunately, if lead-based paint is covered with non-lead paint, you can safely live in the home. The same goes for asbestos if it is encapsulated. But these are temporary fixes if not maintained. Some states have housing programs that can help residents remove health hazards from their homes.
Not only is there an immense amount of asbestos and lead that exist from previous use, but the use of these products today has not been entirely banned.
The manufacture, importation, processing and distribution in commerce of these asbestos-containing products are not banned:
Why hire a contractor for asbestos removal?
Asbestos removal is complicated.
Hiring an asbestos abatement company is not only the easiest way to remove asbestos, but is also the SAFEST.
Contractors, facilities managers and others cannot safely remove asbestos without proper training and licensing.
Complications of Doing-It-Yourself:
- Only Residential properties: Asbestos removal by homeowner is limited to residential property. A certified abatement professional must do the work on a commercial property.
- Single-family only: Self-removal can only be performed in single-family residences. This does not include multiple-family units or mixed-use buildings that contain a residential unit.
- Permits are required and vary by location. In one area, several agencies could be regulating asbestos removal.
- Proper disposal: Asbestos cannot be put with the regular garage. It must be disposed of at an approved facility.
While it’s legal for homeowners to remove asbestos themselves, asbestos can cause life-threatening diseases if not properly removed. Disease symptoms may take many years to develop following exposure and can be difficult to identify.
The three primary health concerns associated with asbestos exposure are:
- Lung cancer.
- Mesothelioma, a cancer that is found in the thin lining of the lung, chest, abdomen and heart.
- Asbestosis, a serious progressive, long-term disease of the lungs.
Smokers are at greater risk.
Those who work in shipyards, power plants, construction, firefighting, schools, oil refineries, paper mills, and the metal works industry run the risk of being exposed to Asbestos. Asbestos can cause mild to life-threatening illnesses such as several types of cancer. You may think the people who work with hazardous materials are the only ones that risk exposure.
But that’s false.
Just like secondhand smoke, people are susceptible to secondhand exposure of asbestos. While asbestos materials are disturbed by being cut, sawed, sanded, ground etc.…toxic fibers are released. Inhalation of these microscopic fibers would be firsthand exposure.
Secondhand exposure comes from the worker bringing those fibers back on clothing, skin, and in their hair. The fibers can then contaminate the home, putting anyone who resides there at risk. The fibers can settle in bedding, carpets, couches, and other furniture.
Change out of the contaminated clothing before returning home. Avoid dusting it off or shaking the clothing as that will disperse the fibers. Do not wash the Asbestos exposed clothing at home. Fibers can contaminate other clothing during a laundry cycle.
Asbestos removal is highly regulated because the dangers to individuals. Asbestos should not be removed or handled without seeking advice from a professional.