Asbestos is a type of fibrous mineral known for its fire resistant properties and high tensile strength. Under certain conditions, asbestos tends to break into several tiny fibers that can only be seen through a microscope. These fibers, when inhaled, can cause havoc in a person’s body, causing serious disorders such as cancer. Where is asbestos found? Ever since the first case of asbestos cancer was recorded, asbestos has been more or less banned from use in industries. Still, buildings and homes that were built between the 1950s and 1970s may pose a risk of asbestos exposure since they may contain asbestos materials.
The first step in asbestos prevention is to find out what products may contain asbestos. These are: * Insulation for steam pipes and boilers * Products used to induce friction, such as clutch facings and brake linings * Door gaskets * Fireproofing and insulation for ships and buildings * Putties, cements, paints, and caulks What to do with Asbestos Containing Materials Older buildings and homes should be checked for presence of the dangerous minerals, and the first areas to check are those enumerated above. Note, however, that even if the asbestos prevention survey yields positive results, it does not necessarily mean that the place is hazardous and must be torn down.
On the contrary, tearing down or removing asbestos containing materials is a big no-no in asbestos prevention. The principle behind asbestos prevention is to minimize as much as possible the risk of getting exposed to the harmful asbestos fibers. These fibers are so light and so small that the tiniest disturbance can send them flying into the air where they are more in danger of getting inhaled by people. Removal of asbestos containing materials, if not properly done, could result in a greater risk of exposure, since the process necessarily includes disturbing the material. In asbestos prevention, the next step to take after checking a building for presence of the mineral is to determine whether or not the asbestos containing material is in good order.
If it is, then it is an asbestos prevention rule to leave it as it is and just establish a management plan to minimize disturbance within and around its immediate area. However, if the material is in bad condition, then you have two asbestos prevention options. First, determine if the material is capable of being subjected to repair without increasing the risk of asbestos exposure. Removal of the asbestos containing material should only be a last resort. Not only is it expensive but it poses the highest risk of exposing people in the building to the harmful effects of asbestos fibers. If you decide on removal, it is recommended that you allow only licensed contractors to do the job. Related Articles