Doing renovations on a home or building that was built before the mid-‘80s? You should get asbestos testing done first, for the sake of your health.
Asbestos can be found in certain building materials, such as sheetrock mud, floor tiles, and the tape around the ductwork. It’s generally not a problem until it’s time for renovation, reconstruction or demolition of the building. Even simply pulling up an old kitchen floor can expose asbestos.
At that point, it’s dangerous to even touch materials containing asbestos, or to risk releasing fine asbestos particles into the air and the building’s HVAC system.
Bring in the asbestos removal experts at Parker Young
Our professionals have the specialized equipment remove asbestos from any home or business environment, even in areas that aren’t readily visible.
If found, asbestos should only be handled, encapsulated and/or removed by trained professionals. Parker Young is one of the only companies in Georgia to utilize special ‘foam encapsulation’ techniques in asbestos abatement. If asbestos has already gotten into the HVAC system, we have expert methods to remove it.
What is Asbestos?
- Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral composed of bundles of fibers. It has proven to be very resilient, serving as an excellent insulator that is not affected by heat or chemicals. It also serves as an ideal noise insulator and it does not conduct electricity. For these reasons, it has been used in building materials since the late 1800's and in automotive components as well.
- In 1971, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared asbestos unsafe and a hazardous air pollutant with strict requirements regulating removal and disposal.
- Asbestos has been determined to cause severe, and even fatal health problems such as Asbestosis (scarring of the lung tissues) and cancers of the lungs, esophagus, colon, pancreas, and stomach.
- Health problems resulting from asbestos exposure can take 10 to 40 years after exposure to appear in an individual.
- Asbestos must enter the body to cause health problems. This happens though inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers.
- Asbestos fibers can become airborne and a possible health hazard when materials containing asbestos are disturbed or improperly removed.
- Asbestos fibers are so microscopic that they are often unseen when airborne, thus individuals can be exposed to asbestos without their knowledge.
- Once asbestos is released in an area, it can remain in that area for an indefinite amount of time. Disturbed asbestos fibers become airborne and eventually settle down onto objects. These fibers can become airborne again upon any disturbance or activity in that area.
- Asbestos is safe and legal to remain in homes or public buildings as long as the asbestos materials are in good condition and the asbestos can not be released into the air.
- Asbestos was banned in the 1970’s, but is still present in homes and buildings built after that time and is being used today to a limited extent.
Where can Asbestos be found?
Many products are in use today that contain asbestos. Most of these are materials used in heat and acoustic insulation, fire proofing, roofing and flooring. In 1989, the EPA identified the following asbestos product categories. Many of these materials may still be in use:
- asbestos-cement corrugated sheet
- asbestos-cement flat sheet
- asbestos-cement pipe
- asbestos-cement shingle roof coatings
- flooring felt
- pipeline wrap
- roofing felt
- non-roof coatings
- vinyl/asbestos floor tile
- commercial and industrial asbestos friction products
- commercial, corrugated and specialty paper
3 Major Health Effects from Asbestos Exposure:
Mesothelioma - A rare form of malignant cancer involving the lining of the lungs, chest or abdomen. This disease is always associated with asbestos exposure and is fatal.
- Asbestosis - Inflammation and scarring of fibrous lung tissue which results in a reduction in lung capacity.
- Cancer - Lung, stomach and colon cancer, as well as other pleural diseases, can also be asbestos-related.
Exposure to airborne friable asbestos may result in a potential health risk because persons breathing the air may breathe in asbestos fibers. Continued exposure can increase the amount of fibers that remain in the lung and fibers embedded in lung tissue over time may cause serious lung diseases. Asbestos fibers associated with these health risks are too small to be seen with the naked eye, and smokers are at higher risk of developing some asbestos-related diseases.
What to do if you find asbestos:
Asbestos should only be handled and/or removed by trained professionals. The best thing to do is to leave material containing asbestos that is in good condition alone. If unsure whether or not the material contains asbestos, an asbestos certified Parker Young technician can inspect to sample and test the material for you.
Before you have your home or business remodeled, you should find out whether asbestos-containing materials are present. If you find damaged material containing asbestos (i.e., unraveling, frayed, breaking apart) you should immediately isolate the area (keep pets and children away) and refrain from disturbing the material (either by touching it or walking on it).