There is nothing more stressful or scary than discovering that your building contains asbestos. Finding them is a common scenario for those renovating buildings construction during the early to middle parts of the 20th century.
Handled incorrectly, this substance can compromise the health of countless people that use your building on a regular basis. SanAir Technologies has extensive experience identifying and dealing with asbestos, so they would agree with us that when you are removing this mineral, you need to treat it with the respect it deserves.
With this in mind, here are some ironclad rules you must follow when setting up an asbestos abatement.
1) Leave it to the professionals
If you are searching the web in an attempt to gain the knowledge that you think you’ll need to perform an asbestos abatement on your own, stop.
While we understand that you’d like nothing more than to avoid spending your hard-earned money on an asbestos abatement firm, this substance should not be taken lightly.
Asbestos is one of the most carcinogenic natural substances known to humankind, and it spreads easily once it is disturbed. You’ll be exposing yourself, your employees, and members of the public to a silent killer that can claim your life between six months to fifty years from first exposure.
When the embedded fibers in your lungs do metastasize, it can trigger a form of cancer known as mesothelioma, which has a 91% fatality rate over five years. If you’re lucky, you’ll just develop lung cancer, which has an 85% fatality rate over a five year period.
Swallow your pride and call in the pros instead of taking on this task yourself.
2) Isolate the area
If you have started a new asbestos abatement firm and you are about to take on your first job, keep reading. Before disturbing a single asbestos fiber, make certain to completely seal off the area where infected materials are being removed.
Plastic sheeting and tarps should be air-tight, with the only break being for two neg air machines, one that will filter out all asbestos from the containment interior, and the other to let clean air in.
Make sure to create room for a containment shower as well, as this piece of infrastructure will help prevent workers from taking asbestos fibers home with them.
3) Wear extensive PPE
Protecting your workers from being exposed to asbestos fibers is another obligation you’ll need to address as an owner of an asbestos company.
This is for regulatory reasons as well as moral, as there is nothing that will ruin your day more than an employee calling up an OSHA inspector because they feel that you haven’t done enough to ensure their safety.
Every employee that joins your firm should be given real, extensive training on what asbestos is, why they are dangerous, and how they can protect themselves from being exposed.
After this, you’ll need to supply all the paper suits (AKA Tyvek coveralls), face masks (from ones that cover the mouth and nose to full face shields with respirator pumps for the really messy jobs), and other PPE they’ll need to get the job done as safely as possible.
4) Use low-pressure wetting techniques
When you are removing loose, easily spreadable asbestos fibers, you will need to dampen them down before placing them in a disposal bag.
Make sure the water source you are using is low pressure. Ideally, it should be one that puts out a mist instead of a stream. This will prevent asbestos fibers from flying everywhere, which will make your job longer and more miserable than it has to be.