Asbestos was one of the most popular materials used for construction in the past. During the early 20th century, asbestos was widely used for construction purposes. It was used in the construction of buildings, houses and civil engineering projects. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that researchers realised that asbestos could actually be very harmful. In its natural state, asbestos doesn’t cause any damage. However, if the integrity of the mineral is compromised (such as a crack in the wall), it releases asbestos fibres into the air. When inhaled, these fibres can cause a series of respiratory problems, and can even cause fatal diseases such as lung cancer.
When these studies were published, asbestos was banned for use in construction projects. But what about those buildings that were already present? Rather than tearing them down, these buildings are subjected to regular inspections in order to ensure that the asbestos fibres aren’t released into the air. If the level of asbestos fibres increases, the building might be designated unsafe for inhabitation. However, rather than tearing down the whole building, local supervisors generally hire the services of asbestos removal companies.
What Can a Removal Company Do?
As the name suggests, asbestos removalists will start with analysing the levels of asbestos fibres in the air. Once an initial inspection is completed, the company will decide if the patches of asbestos need to be removed from the building. The job is relatively difficult, because the asbestos must be removed and replaced with other building materials without actually affecting the integrity of the building. High-end machinery is generally used to remove asbestos. Handling damaged asbestos is also not safe, and licenced contractors are required for the job.
The process for removing asbestos is divided into several stages. The first step is determining the regions from where the asbestos needs to be removed. For instance, asbestos was popularly used in ceilings, wall sheeting, and pipe lagging and for insulation as well. Proper asbestos surveys, analysis and testing are carried out to ensure that the asbestos is removed properly from the whole building. If asbestos or other contaminants enter the soil, remediation processes might need to be carried out in order to remove all traces. The company will give you a list of all the procedures that need to be carried out in order to remove asbestos from the building.
Why Is Asbestos Harmful?
Asbestos exposure doesn’t show immediate effects. In fact, it takes several years for the effects of asbestos to show. In the beginning, you might suffer from respiratory issues, such as asthma. With the passage of time, asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, which is a fatal disease. In the long run, it can also cause lung cancer. New research has also shown that asbestos exposure is linked with other types of cancers, such as gastrointestinal, kidney, brain and bladder cancer. Needless to say, monitoring asbestos levels is important for your long-term health.