If you’re living in a space that was built in 1990 or before that, it might contain asbestos — a material known as a silent killer that creates a series of health problems without getting on the radar. So, it’s best to eradicate asbestos from your spaces as quickly as possible. Who knows when you or your family might end up getting exposed to this hazardous substance? This is why asbestos Abatement is crucial
With that being said, if you’re in this parlous state, it is critical that you contact professionals to make your house or working areas safer. Without wasting a second more, read on to find out more about asbestos removal and understand how big of a threat the material poses. So, let’s jump right into it.
You might not have the slightest idea what you are dealing here with. Asbestos was praised as the “wonder material” because of its ability to resist thermal degradation, chemicals, and disintegration. It is not a chemical made by humans — something that most might assume it would be — but rather it is a naturally occurring mineral or silicate stone, even though some of its forms may not look like it. The material harbors extraordinarily strong fibers, ensuring unpreceded durability for a construction material.
Although the market is overabundant with asbestos, there are only two types that are prevalently used in the industry — white and brown/blue asbestos. The former is flexible and highly durable, which is why it is used in 90% of the products. However, no matter what the type, they all pose serious health threats, especially the amphiboles (blue or brown asbestos).
Contrary to the popular belief, asbestos isn’t a discovery of the modern world, but something that has been lingering around for a thousand years. People used it for pottery, cadaver preservation, and in making candle wicks. However, it’s been only a century since we started using asbestos as a construction material, mainly because of its exceptional insulation and fire-resistant abilities.
Around the 1970s, the demand peaked as the industry needed a cheap but more viable construction solution. Little did they know that the mineral was a hazard in disguise. But they couldn’t help but praise the material for how effective it was as a building component. It is as strong as steel, neither decompose nor biodegrade and is highly durable. No wonder it was quickly hailed as a magical ingredient to solve many construction problems.
Over time, medical research unveiled the hidden danger that this substance posed, and in 1985 UK banned the use of amphiboles for the first time ever. Later, the detrimental effects of asbestos became more apparent with the progress in medical research. More evidence was found, and humanity came to acknowledge that the substance they praised so highly is actually a lethal toxin that resulted in fatalities. Worse of all, many of you are living in a house or a building constructed from a poison that can prove lethal at any time.
Asbestos isn’t life-threatening unless it enters the body, and that’s when it becomes a real danger. We’ve talked about its indestructible nature, and this trait is what makes it so dangerous to the human body. As you might have already guessed, once it enters your system, it persists — neither the digestive fluids nor any bodily chemicals are able to dismantle it. But the question is how can a stone enter the body?
Just like any mineral, it turns to dust under immense pressure or force, which can be then accidentally inhaled. While some particles may get eliminated by the nose and throat, countless are able to pass through. After that, the material settles in various parts of the body, including the lungs, and causes some serious health problems.
However, what makes it worse is that asbestos is odorless, colorless, and is almost undetectable. Plus, you won’t exhibit any symptoms unless the matte has reached the point of no return.
Asbestos-containing cabinet tops, shingles, pine and duct covering, plumbing fixtures, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, switchboard panels, fireplace insulations, doors, etc., do not exude dust unless they are damaged. That doesn’t mean we can leave them unattended. Upon deterioration and damage, however, they will emanate fibers into the air.
It is also found in the walls and ceiling, where it is combined with the concrete for reinforcement. In the event of renovation or damage, the material can get loose and enter your body.
Some standards procedures are designed to remove asbestos from materials while preventing the release of fibers. The process usually involves a professional team with the proper gear to survey and decontaminate the space from the material using modern equipment.
Some homeowners wouldn’t take this as seriously as they should, thinking that if the material hasn’t affected them till now it never will. That’s a huge misconception. Asbestos contaminants are like a time bomb, waiting for the right moment to enter your body and damage you internally.
Asbestos exposure causes…
Continuous exposure to the material can lead to asbestosis — a non-cancerous but chronic respiratory illness, in which the lung tissues deteriorate. As a result, the sufferer may experience uneasiness, short breath, and problems while breathing. In the worst-case scenario, asbestosis can trigger deadly cardiac failures as well.
While some treatments might work in minimizing the symptoms, the diseases can’t be cured completely. The disease is common amongst people who work around construction sites or deal with building demolition.
It wouldn’t be inaccurate to state that Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer that affects the membrane lining of the organs. In the USA alone, two hundred cases surface, where most are the result of asbestos exposure. Often, people who work around asbestos are the victims of this lethal disease.
Those who work in asbestos mills, mines, factories, and shipyards are advised to wear protective gear to prevent the airborne particles from entering the body.
Lung cancer devours thousands of people every year, and a large number of them are the victims of asbestos exposure. The disease is followed by loathsome symptoms like persistent coughing, hoarseness, shortness of breath, pain, uneasiness, anemia, and difficulty in breathing. According to reports, people who are involved in manufacturing, milling, and minim of this material are at a colossal risk of developing lung cancer.
Not to forget, if you’re both a smoker and infected by asbestos, the risk of cancer enormously increases. No wonder, it ends up being the largest disease on our planet.
Some pieces of medical research have also shown that asbestos causes cancer in the oral cavity, colon, kidney, stomach, larynx, and esophagus. However, more research is needed to uncover the role of asbestos in developing such choric health deteriorations.
In case you suspect a suspicious material or minerals like asbestos in your living space or workspace, don’t touch or try to remove it. Instead, it would be best to hire professional asbestos removal contractors to do the job for you. Firstly, they will test and verify if it’s really asbestos and proceed accordingly.
In an unfortunate event that the material turns out to be asbestos, the professionals will use specialized equipment and gear to safely decontaminate your space from this carcinogen. If the damage isn’t great, they might go for repair instead of complete removal.
Here are a few steps that you should take after suspecting the contamination:
Asbestos contamination is something completely out of your league. It’s too dangerous for a DIY project and you have no better option than to hire an asbestos removal company. Unlike us, the professionals will be equipped with essential equipment, protective gear, and above all, skills to handle the task without getting exposed.
However, not all contractors are the same and provide quality services. Some excel in demolition, whereas others know their way around repairing tasks. Therefore, choose the service provider that meets your needs, for which research is needed at first.
Don’t forget to run a quick survey on the company before hiring them. Find out their work history, area of skills, and what services they provide — not to mention, compare the prices with others in your list to cull the best contractor for your asbestos removal project.
It’s difficult for a person to identify the material just by looking. That is where professionals can help you by successfully identifying what you’re dealing with. In many cases, people assume the material to be asbestos and damage their property in an attempt to remove it. To save yourself from all this trouble, it would be best to allow the professionals to test your structure.
Also, if you are planning to renovate, there is a huge chance that you might end up facing hidden asbestos. It could be present anywhere from the ceiling, floor, or even the most unexpected places. So, before initiating any renovation project, test the structure for asbestos to make the process easier for not only yourself but also for the renovators.
Homeowners should also run a quick inspection before buying or selling the property to remove asbestos prior to the final deal.
The process usually includes the following steps:
The process comes with an exorbitant price, mainly because it involves so many procedures, skilled professionals, and high-tech instruments. The final cost, however, depends on your needs and the level of contamination. For an average-sized house, it may cost $20,000 to $30,000 for complete removal. Not to forget, sample analysis and home inspections cost some extra.
Asbestos abatement holds paramount importance, especially if your house is old. This seemingly harmless material is a toxin in disguise, which can potentially cause lethal diseases like cancer. It is only wise to hire asbestos removal service providers to inspect your space for contamination, and to eliminate any findings right away. So, depurate your space from asbestos and live in a safer environment.