Construction is something we see every day, as we commute to our jobs or when we head out shopping. Older buildings are being demolished to make way for newer models. Shopping centers are being built where older schools and buildings once stood. This should make us excited to see such growth in our neighborhoods. However, with those demolished older buildings comes a risk. Asbestos exposure is a real problem when demolishing older buildings. It is such a problem that there are regulations to protect us from asbestos exposure through old building demolition.
What is the Clean Air Act?
The Clean Air Act was put into place to protect workers and bystanders from asbestos exposure when dealing with demolitions and renovations. The National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants regulate demolitions and renovations of buildings. The regulations that are in place require these three things:
• The building owners and operators must inform the proper state agency for renovations or demolition of a building that might contain a specified quantity of asbestos-containing material.
• Certain industrial and manufacturing companies must not emit asbestos fibers into the outside air or must use air cleaning methods.
• Companies must follow certain conditions when removing asbestos-containing materials.
Even though these regulations are in place, some companies do not have asbestos testing completed on the properties before demolition. While this is illegal, it has occurred in the past. Today, it is illegal to have any older buildings demolished without first having it tested for asbestos. If the building contains asbestos, it must be demolished by a certified asbestos abatement professional. These professionals have the proper equipment and suits to ensure the asbestos does not leave the area and that no one can become exposed to the asbestos fibers.