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Employers and building owners must be concerned with asbestos exposure when planning a renovation or demolition project. The OSHA Construction Standard for Asbestos (29 CFR 1926.1101) details training requirements, medical monitoring, respiratory protection, prohibited activities, and work practices for dealing with asbestos-containing materials.

AIR TECH can assist you in determining if you have asbestos-containing materials, assessing the potential risk of asbestos-containing materials, selecting the most cost effective method of properly managing the abatement of asbestos-containing materials, and performing the actual abatement work, whether it be removal, repair, encapsulation, enclosure or O&M Services.

AIR TECH Corporation with its 20 years experience in the industry employs only licensed and trained professionals in the following areas of asbestos work:

 

  • Abatement
  • Repair
  • Encapsulation
  • Enclosure
  • Operations & Maintenance (O&M)
  • New wood floor replacement
  • New concrete floor replacement
  • Re-insulation
  • Vinyl and ceramic tiles installation

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring group of minerals that can only be identified under a microscope. There are several types of these flexible, fire-resistant fibers.

In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and provide heat insulation and fire resistance. In most products, asbestos is combined with a binding material so that it is not readily released into the air.

However, if asbestos should become airborne and is inhaled, it can remain in the lungs for a long period of time, producing the risk for severe health problems that do not appear until many years later.

Where is it found?

More that 3,000 products in use today contain asbestos. Most of these are materials used in heat and acoustic insulation, fire proofing, and roofing and flooring. Some of the more common products that may contain asbestos include: Pipe and duct insulation. Building insulation, Wall and ceiling panels, Carpet underlay, Roofing materials, Artificial fireplaces and materials, Patching and spackling compounds, Brake pads and linings, Pot holders and ironing board pads, Hair dryers, Floor tiles, Electrical wires, Textured paints, Cements, Toasters and other household appliances, Furnaces and other furnace door gaskets.

Products containing asbestos are often not labeled as such. Contact the manufacturer to find out if asbestos is present. Or call the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (800-638-2772) for information about whether a product contains asbestos.

What are its health effects?

Asbestos fibers can have serious effects on your health if inhaled. There is no known safe exposure to asbestos. The greater the exposure, the greater the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.

The amount of time between exposure to asbestos and the first signs of disease can be as much as 30 years. It is known that smokers exposed to asbestos have a much greater chance of developing lung cancer than just from smoking alone.

Asbestos can cause asbestosis, a scarring of the lungs that leads to breathing problems and heart failure. Inhalation of asbestos can also cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen lining. It may be linked to cancer of the stomach, intestines, and rectum, as well.

What are the problems?

Asbestos is rarely used alone, and it is generally safe when combined with other materials with strong bonding agents. As long as the material remains bonded so that fibers are not released, it poses no health risk. But occasionally asbestos fibers become loose and airborne, most often when contained in soft, easily crumbled materials.

Even in such well-bonded materials as floor tiles and painted surfaces, asbestos can become loose and airborne when these materials are cut, scraped, filed, sanded, or removed. Remodeling or demolition often cause the release of asbestos fibers.

To discover whether you have an asbestos problem, you must first determine whether the material in question is releasing asbestos fibers. The best way to have this done is to have a state health agency or a reliable testing company take a sample for you and have it analyzed.



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