Asbestos remains in homes, offices and buildings across the country. Undisturbed, it generally does not pose a threat to people. However, when the fibers are disturbed through construction, renovation or other events, it can be dangerous.
This is why it is crucial that parties remove potentially harmful asbestos safely and effectively. When this does not happen, people can suffer asbestos exposure.
Proper removal regulations
There are numerous rules for how to remove asbestos safely. And in some cases, it can be safer to cover it up than remove it. However, when parties must get rid of asbestos-containing products, there are several things they must do to keep exposure risks as low as possible.
Some of these measures include:
- Wetting the material
- Securely blocking the area off
- Wearing protective clothes, which should be cleaned or disposed of afterward
- Using the proper equipment, like vacuums with HEPA filters
- Disposing of material in marked, sealed bags
- Keeping materials intact when possible
When parties comply with these and other safety precautions, they can remove asbestos with little or no risk of harmful exposure.
When removal goes wrong
If you work in asbestos abatement, you could be at risk of exposure if you do not have proper protective equipment or work with people who do not comply with appropriate removal practices.
If you are an individual homeowner, you could risk exposure if you attempt to remove asbestos yourself or if you hire untrained parties to remove it.
In any of these situations, there is a risk to people’s safety. Thus, it is crucial to comply with safe handling, abatement and disposal protocols to prevent harmful contact with asbestos.
Keep in mind, though, that asbestos-related illnesses can take decades to surface after exposure. This means that failed or improper removal efforts 20 or 30 years ago could be blamed for a mesothelioma diagnosis today.
However, complying with safe asbestos removal practices today can protect you and others for decades to come.