Asbestos is widely used in construction, industrial, shipbuilding, and automotive industries. Asbestos mineral fiber was once hailed for insulation, fireproofing, high tensile strength, water heat & chemical resistance, low cost and natural abundance qualities. Most common uses include pipe & boiler insulation, fireproofing, floor tile & mastic, ceiling tiles roofing & roof flashings, and asbestos cement products.
Disturbance of asbestos requires the skill and knowledge of a professional contracting team that can protect you from the dangers and liabilities associated with an improper disturbance and/or abatement. Asbestos fibers can remain airborne for up to 72 hours and there is no known safe level of asbestos.
Asbestos fibers can be inhaled or ingested and can cause diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, and digestive cancers. Many of these diseases have a latency period of 10-40 years.
This article is a basic guide to the asbestos abatement process
What Is the Asbestos Abatement Process?
The process usually begins with an asbestos survey and risk assessment of potential asbestos containing materials. This survey is needed prior to any renovation or demolition projects. Asbestos response actions include removal, repair, encapsulation, enclosure, and operations & maintenance. We can help you determine which response action fits your requirements and submit proper asbestos project notification forms as required by government agencies.
The process of asbestos abatement includes the following steps:
1. Preparing the Work Area
The process usually begins with background air sampling, posting of danger signs & barricade tape, lock-out/tag-out of HVAC/electrical systems, sealing of critical barriers with polyethylene, constructing containment chambers, installing HEPA negative air machines, and checking for proper negative air pressure within the containment. Containment integrity will be inspected by the supervisor prior to asbestos removal.
2. Removing Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM)
Specially trained, licensed, and medically monitored workers will don appropriate respirators and personal protective gear prior to entering the work area. ACM will be removed using wet, hand, and mechanical methods. Inside and outside air monitoring may be conducted to ensure the engineering controls are working and no exposure is released outside the containment.
3. Cleanup and Air Testing
Upon completion of the gross removal, the work area will be fine cleaned, wet-wiped, and HEPA-vacuumed to remove any remaining contamination. A final visual inspection of cleanliness will be performed prior to the application of a lockdown encapsulant which is used to trap any remaining airborne fibers. Once the encapsulant dies, then final air clearance samples will be taken as required.
Asbestos waste will be doubled-bagged and sealed in labeled waste bags per regulations. All waste will be properly manifested and sent to an authorized asbestos landfill.
Containment barriers and equipment will be removed once final air sampling standards are met. At this time, the work area will be ready for occupancy. Finally, we will provide the owner with waste shipment records and project records.
Why Is It Important To Hire Asbestos Professionals?
All abatement requires the skill and knowledge of a professional contracting team that can protect you from the health dangers and liabilities associated with improper handling of ACM.
The regulations and governing agencies can be varied and complex and an experienced professional contacting team is required.
Asbestos National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)
NESHAP is an Environmental Protection Agency regulation that requires building owners to perform asbestos inspections by an accredited asbestos inspector prior to renovating or demolishing a building. It also established project size criteria, industry definitions, work practices, training, notification, emission, and waste disposal requirements.
Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)
The AHERA is an Environmental Protection Agency regulation that applies to all public and private schools, k-12 grades. The regulation establishes the requirement for inspections, re-inspections, periodic surveillance, development and updates of management plans, development of response actions, operations & development of maintenance programs, custodial staff training, and parental notifications.
Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act (ASHARA)
ASHARA requires individuals working with asbestos in public and commercial buildings to have AHERA level training. This regulation established the training requirement for workers, supervisors, project designers, inspectors, and management planners.
OSHA Asbestos Construction Standard
Established Class1-Class IV definitions, industry definitions, work practices, multi-employer worksite requirements, permissible exposure & excursion limits for asbestos workers, training requirements, and communication requirements.
State and Local Regulations
Each state, city, or local agency can have their own set of asbestos regulations..
Waco’s Safe and Effective Asbestos Abatement Services
Waco, Inc. can handle your asbestos abatement needs throughout the Mid-Atlantic regions. We have numerous offices throughout Virginia and an office in Maryland that covers Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia.