Any building, manufacturing and industrial facility owner planning to renovate or demolish any structure, insulated piping, or heavy machinery has the potential of encountering asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).
The work on any renovation/demolition of a building project can come to a halt if the workers encounter any building material that is suspected of being ACM and was not previously identified and confirmed. Per the regulations, certain types of ACMs must be removed by a certified Asbestos Abatement Contractor before commencing any renovation/demolition activities. There are criminal and civil penalties for disturbing asbestos-containing materials without a permit and not following established removal procedures.
That’s why, as a first step, a thorough and properly performed asbestos testing survey is so crucial for the successful completion of the project.
Asbestos has been used in numerous building construction materials and vehicle products because it added strength, stability, resisted corrosion, improved heat and chemical resistance, and provided acoustical insulation. Asbestos was predominantly added to a wide variety of products made between the 1950s to late 1970s, e.g., plaster, drywall joint compounds, floor tiles, thermal pipe insulation, fireproofing, spray on coatings, acoustic insulation, roofing shingles and flashings, duct tape, panels and pipes made up of cement/concrete, adhesives, putties and caulking, gaskets, brake parts, wicks, gloves and other heat resistant clothing, etc. Its applications and uses were only limited by human imagination and the consumers’ needs.
Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and, it is a significant health hazard when its fibers are inhaled or ingested. Individual asbestos fibers cannot be seen by the naked eye, which puts workers and the exposed population at an increased risk. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates exposure to workers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates asbestos exposure to the public and the environment. Numerous rules and regulations, guidance and procedures for assessment, proper removal, and controlling exposure have been promulgated and published. As previously stated, not following the established rules and regulations and procedures for asbestos testing, removing, storing, transporting, or disposing of can bring both civil and criminal liabilities.
Although exposure to asbestos fibers can cause a wide range of short term and long-term health problems, the primary health risks fall into three categories:
- Asbestosis: Permanent scarring of lung tissue
- Pleural disease: Damage to the lining of the lungs
- Lung cancer and mesothelioma: Tumors and cancerous cells that attack the lungs
As we’ve stated before, asbestos is a known carcinogen which has no “safe” level of exposure. Adverse health effects from asbestos can manifest 20 to 40 years after exposure. Workplace diseases due to asbestos exposure have been the source of the greatest tort liability in U.S. history where more than $30 billion in trust funds have been set aside to help the victims of asbestos exposure. This is why an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
What is asbestos?
The term asbestos refers to six types of naturally occurring minerals that fall into two main categories:
- Serpentine asbestos, also called white asbestos. Chrysotile is the only mineral in the serpentine category and accounts for approximately 95% of all asbestos used in commercial applications worldwide.
- Amphibole asbestos, which includes amosite (brown asbestos), crocidolite (blue asbestos), anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite
These minerals are resilient, durable, heat and corrosion resistant, don’t dissolve in water, and microbes cannot break them down, and these properties make them suitable for various commercial applications. Many of these products are still available and being used today.
Asbestos testing, risk assessments, and abatements
CTL has a team of experts who are State Certified for all the aspects of asbestos management required for renovation/demolition projects to minimize worker’s exposure and minimize owners’ liability.
CTL’s expertise includes:
- Asbestos hazard surveys: CTL conducts these pre-renovation/demolition surveys in compliance with AHERA and NESHAPS guidelines to identify, test, and quantify ACMs.
- Asbestos project design: CTL prepares abatement bid specifications, assist in selecting certified and qualified abatement contractors, developing management plans, and estimating costs for the proper management or removal of the ACMs.
- Asbestos abatement oversight and project closeout: As a third-party observer, CTL provides monitoring during asbestos abatement, i.e., work area air monitoring, sampling, and analysis to document that the proper regulatory protocols are being followed and that the exposure to the workers and the occupants has not exceeded the permissible limits.
CTL’s Environmental Department conducts over 500 environmental projects a year; i.e., Phase I and II ESAs, UST closures, in-situ & ex-situ remediation, asbestos, mold, and indoor air quality testing surveys, lead-based paint surveys, wetlands delineation and mitigation, permitting, NEPA work, etc., for private/government clients.
Here is what our client had to say where we performed asbestos surveys for over 200 properties owned by City’s Land Bank, “Thank you for all of the hard work you’ve done to this point with the Land Bank.” -Dennis Zimmer, Acting Supervisor; City of Dayton. A rush survey and abatement project to renovate a Sprint store in Cincinnati, where the client saved project time and money, Rob Delengro, Project Manager for Aptim said, “Nice work. Thanks!! You guys knocked it out of the park on this one.”
Let our experts help you on your next project and bring it to successful completion in a timely and cost-effective manner while minimizing your liabilities.