What is Asbestos?
It is naturally occurring substance like minerals and it can be easily pulled into a fluffy consistency. It is a magic mineral and it is now an infamous public health menace.
It was use or mixed with many consumer products and construction materials.
In this product fibers are soft and flexible and resistant to heat, chemical corrosion and electricity.
It is an effective insulator and it can be easily mixed with cloth, paper, plastic, cement and other materials to make them stronger.
These qualities make it very profitable for business purpose but it also make it highly toxic.
It is not only a single type of mineral but it also contains group of silicate minerals that share the same fibrous nature.
For marketing purpose white asbestos is known as chrysotile, blue is known as crocidolite and brown asbestos is known as amosite.
In 1986, one Act form which is known as “Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act”.
According to this Act The U.S government has recognized that there are six types of asbestos that fall into two general categories.
In 20th century, it were used almost interchangeably in the US and in 1800s, the first company was form and it contains this dangerous product.
The motive of this company is to service the steam engines and locomotives of the Industrial Revolution.
Insulation of this product was available in every wall and pipe of house to power plants.
It was cheap and easy to import from North American mines then the manufacturer of many companies start promoting it.
Nowadays, It became a popular ingredient for new generation and it is used in roof sealants, cement sheets, floor and ceiling tiles.
Because of second World War the demand of this product increase in U.S naval ships and military bases.
Why it is Dangerous?
Microscopic fibers of asbestos can not seen, tasted and smelled easily. A person who exposed to this product does not cause any immediate symptoms.
Once the fiber goes inside the body then it never dissolves. After some year than it can cause to genetic damage of the body cells, scarring and inflammation.
The symptoms of this disease can take 20 to 50 years to appear and life expectancy for this disease patients is poor.
There is no cure for the patients of this disease and This disease also develops in the people who used this product.
It also develop in the people who lived in a contaminated environment. Occupational exposure is the primary cause of this disease.
The area which is affected by asbestos is the lining of the lungs and chest wall.
The less commonly affected area is the lining of abdomen, sac surrounding the heart and the sac surrounding the testis.
This diseases is asbestosis, pleuritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and it make patients difficult to breathe.
It also causes malignant disease like lung cancer, peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma. And Now this disease are in No.1 occupational cancer in the world.
Most homeowners decide to test for asbestos but they decline by feeling that the cost of laboratory testing will be too high.
But it is possible to spend hundreds on lab testing, there are many cheaper ways to ensure that your home is safe or not.
You can send samples to a laboratory or have an inspector come to your home to take samples. Inspectors have a lots of knowledge about this product and they also have a experience.
He have public liability and professional indemnity insurance. He can also conduct air monitoring to assess the air for the presence of fibre.
Some of laboratories offer mail-away testing, you can cut out a small sample of the material and put it into a sealed bag and mail the sample to the laboratory.
Types of materials you might send to a lab are Sheet vinyl, Popcorn ceiling, Floor tile, Ceiling insulation, Wallboard, Mastic and Exterior cement tile siding.
In one week, the report can sent to your house whether the material is positive or negative.
Inspection Reports provide the following information such as:
1) Documentation of all the potential areas where asbestos in suspected.
2) A comprehensive list describing the condition of the areas suspected.
3)Documentation of samples taken for testing including locations and photos also.
4)Test results from a NATA approved lab.
5) A management strategy to deal with any asbestos found.
6) Recommendations on service providers who can help execute the management plan.
Cost of this process is about $50 per sample for non rush work and about $80 for rush work (with in 24 hour).
Some labs also offer a reduced rate for additional samples.
If you have a sample of dust that you are sending to laboratory then the cost is high. Because dust sampling requires an electron microscope.
By obtaining an Test you are able to plan ahead and maintain a safe environment for family and for neighborhood.
In 20th century, Asbestos insulation was the biggest source of exposure for workers and it remains a toxic hazard in many homes and businesses.
It is extremely resistant to heat and the air between the fluffy mineral fibers slows down the transfer of heat through the material.
Because of its fibrous nature manufacturers are start using it with materials like paper, cement, spray on coatings and fabric.
It also resistant to electricity and chemical corrosion and it can strengthen the durability of whatever it is mixed into.
It is mixed with materials like paper, cement and spray on coatings and even weave it into fabric.
This product could be cheaply and easily import from North American mines. Before 50 year, this dangerous product was commonly use in construction.
It was challenging to name a type of commercial insulation without this product.
If it was needed this dangerous product was used. Because of much use of insulator than it referred as a “asbestos workers”.
This dangerous product was also use in ancient times for fireproof cloth for kings and the tablecloths for landholders.
In 1828, it was used in a steam engine as boilers and high temperature pipes and it increase common fixtures in businesses and vehicles.
In 1901, One of titans industry was opened, when the H.W. Johns Manufacturing Company was famous for roof shingles.
H.W. company was merged with the Manville Covering Company, which specialized in pipe insulation and operated its own mine.
H.W. Johns and Manville Company went on to become the largest manufacturer in United State.
In second World War it was used and inspired a new generation of products. Military use of this insulation continued into the Cold War.
In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency classified it and said that it is a dangerous air pollutant as part of the Clean Air Act.
There are four types of insulation Loose-fill, wrap, block and spray-on. Loose-fill was used in a hollow spaces, inside walls and other building structures.
It is extremely dangerous because even a little air current can disturb it and then it sending fibers into the air.
Wrap was used for pipes, ducts and other plumbing and HVAC components in old buildings was also contains this product.
Pipe insulation was also a major health hazard in Navy ships. The fabric of old valve insulation jackets also contains fiber.
In the past, block was made by pure asbestos and it creates a major exposure hazard whenever it sawed or damaged.
Spray-on was developed to decreases the amount of labor required to apply insulation. It was also used in fireproofing materials like ceilings, walls and structural beams.
It can be seen in many large commercial buildings where the ceiling is coated with a thick layer of grey material. It can be damaged easily and releases the cloud of fibers into the air.
In the year 1940s, it was common in ceiling tiles, tile adhesives, dry wall, duct wrap and texture sprays through the year 1990s.
It is commonly used in ceiling tiles especially in drop ceilings. It was most commonly used in Schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and old houses.
In Old house it may have in kitchens or in basement remodels. It can be found in many types like fibre cement sheet or in vermiculite spray.
The vermiculite look like popcorn and it is seen in science lab of old high school. It is very harmful when it disturbed and released the toxic fibers.
This tiles were mostly used in the ceiling construction. You can be exposed from tiles and not realize that you have contracted a fatal illness.
Left intact, ceiling materials may not be harmful but when it damage from storms or any other event that cracks tiles allows fibers out into the air.
These fibers are microscopic and no one can see it and never know that he or she may breathing in a toxic substance.
Some brands of tiles are BPB, Celotex, Flintkote, Gyptone, National Gypsum Gold Bond, Owens Corning Fiberglass, US Gypsum and Affa Tile Company.
Some brands of Spray product are Acoustone, Kelley Moore Deco Tex, Georgia Pacific Texture, K Spray Ceiling Texture and National Gypsum Gold Bond Textures.
Some of Adhesive brands are Armstrong S-89, Amstrong S-90, Carey Fibrous, Empire Ace Fibrous and Gold Bond Laminating Adhesive.
Before 1980, Many house were build up and they contain very harmful products in floor tiles, ceiling tiles, roof shingles, flashing and siding.
It also used with insulation in boilers, ducts, pipes, sheeting, fireplaces, pipe, cement and seams between pieces of sheetrock.
Some homes may also contain vermiculite attic insulation contaminated with this dangerous product.
For removing this dangerous product the costs is depend upon the extent of the work to be done.
Many contractors have a minimum fee of $1,500 to $3,000 and it is not depend upon how much work they done.
while Complete removal in 1500 square feet house in that everywhere in walls, floors, ceilings, attic, roof and pipes contains asbestos could be as high as $20,000 to $30,000.
The removal process is a two step process, First step is to have a material tested to make sure that it contains or not a dangerous product.
Then Contact with your regional asbestos program or else state administrative department or with Occupational Safety and Health Administration regional office. To find out about tools, requirements and regulations for removal.
Then speak with inspectors and contractors who are licensed and trained in safe testing and removal of this product.
Then it can be removed professionally by Hiring a roofing, flooring and siding contractors.
Contractors may be exempt from state removal licensing requirements as well as they are trained to remove it.
Before work begins you want a written contract that clearly states all federal, state and local regulations that the contractor must follow.
When the work get ends then take a written proof from the contractor that all procedures were followed correctly.
In the year 1920s, asbestos siding was very commonly used in buildings and homes until the 1980s.
Still it can be found in many older homes in United State and Canada. It was made by adding a naturally occurring mineral to Portland cement.
Than this cement was pressed into siding shingles that came in a wide variety of sizes, profiles and textures.
It is very small and it has a tendency to crack, when nailed and it can release fibers into the air.
It also can be extremely dangerous if the siding is broken up and fibers are released into the air.
The roofing variable which was commonly found are Asphalt roofing shingles, Cement roofing shingles, Roof underlayment, Sealants, Flashing and Asphalt roofing felt.
The siding variable which was commonly found are Wood shake vapor barrie, Cement board, Slate, Mastics, Adhesives and Paint.
Most of This variable are seen in Minnesota homes and it can be removed by hiring Inspector to sample the material and submit it for laboratory analysis.
The process of removal of it start by sending a sample of it to an EPA approved lab for testing to make sure the siding actually contains a harmful product or not.
Most of homeowners may legally removed this materials themselves but MDH strongly recommends using a Minnesota contractor.
If anyone decides to remove this product with ownself then may follow this steps:
1)Take a plastic drop cloths around house to collect any debris from the removal.
2)Keep others away from the area.
3)Make sure you do not track the material into your house.
4)Protect yourself by wearing a respirator with P100 cartridge filters. 5)Do not use dust masks.
6)Read the respirator manufacturer instructions for proper use and fit.
7) MEDICAL WARNING: You may not be medically able to wear a respirator. Check with your doctor first.
8)Wear disposable coveralls or old clothing that can be disposed of at the end of the work.
9)Avoid breaking up the roofing or siding and Work slowly to keep breakage to a minimum.
If anyone of you have shingles of asbestos and are wondering if they are a safety concern for you and your family.
It is important to know whether this shingles contains the dangerous product or not and their condition.
If they are not in good condition and seem to be disintegrating, beginning to fall apart, crack, etc.
They can expel fibers which can be dangerous for you and your family. For removing this shingles you want to hire a professional contractors.
An authorized contractor is better for removal of it because he have been trained in a more safe removal process.
Contractor may knows how to remove it and he also have a certificate of removal. He will also have the proper protective removal equipment, tools and clothing.
To remove the shingles you need approval from the EPA “Environmental Protection Agency”.