Asbestos abatement is a set of procedures used during construction, that control the release of Asbestos fibers from materials. Abatement protects the workers and members of the common public from the various ill effects of Asbestos. It puts down the specific guidelines to be followed during construction, where asbestos-containing materials are used, and when these materials are being removed, encapsulated, or repaired.
The ban on the use of Asbestos is already in place in most of the countries of the world, owing to its health hazards. The procedure of abatement is already in place in most countries. It is the duty of the client to properly follow these guidelines and hire only a specialist contractor which can provide the necessary proofs to maintain the safety standards.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is mined all over the world. It contains thin fibers that are durable and resistant to heat, fire, and other chemicals. Asbestos doesn’t conduct heat or electricity and therefore was used as an insulator in building materials. Asbestos was affordable which led to the rise in its use as a building material.
Asbestos was a common building material before it was banned. It was used in the construction of homes, schools, industrial buildings, etc. Building materials such as vinyl flooring, fireproofing, plaster, adhesives, pipe insulation, and ceiling tiles among many others had asbestos in them.
Health hazards related to Asbestos
Asbestos is a very common and versatile building material as it is resistant to almost everything. But this property of asbestos makes it harmful to the human body. The fibers become lodged in the lungs causing respiratory diseases. Breathing in higher levels of asbestos fibers puts you at risk of lung cancer or mesothelioma which is caused directly by exposure to asbestos.
It also depends upon how asbestos was applied. It becomes a hazard when worker personnel has to drill, saw, or cut into the fibers. This releases the asbestos fibers into the air which is risky for anyone who inhales the fibers.
The process of asbestos abatement follows strict guidelines as to how asbestos-containing materials are to be worked with and is no easy task. It is done only by an authorized asbestos abatement contractor. Air samples are collected to make sure that no amount of asbestos was released into the air. Usually, occupants are not allowed to enter the area where the abatement is taking place.
- A typical method is to seal off the entire area where asbestos is being removed with the help of polythene films and applying negative air pressure.
- A specially designed vacuum cleaner for asbestos containment cleans up the asbestos fibers in the air.
The process is one such that protects and ensures the safety of the occupants and the workers. Asbestos-containing materials possess a risk for the human body and should be treated and worked with carefully.