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December 2019

Excavator on a construction site during the demolition of a house

Asbestos and Demolition – There are Regulations for Your Safety!

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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.

Multi generational family walking in park

Children and Asbestos Exposure

By | Asbestos in the home, Asbestos Information | No Comments

When you think of asbestos exposure, you think of people, mainly men, who have worked in construction, shipyards, railroads, are the military. You don’t think of children. However, we are now seeing an influx of children and women that are showing signs of asbestos exposure. How is this possible? Below, we will discuss a few ways children are becoming exposed to asbestos.

Secondary Exposure

Many children that have asbestos-related illnesses were exposed through secondary exposure. Secondary exposure of asbestos can happen in different ways, but it is mainly through family member’s clothes. If they work in a field where asbestos fibers are common, they likely bring those fibers home on their clothing and shoes. This means there are asbestos fibers in their car and inside the home. If the family member hugs their children when they arrive home, it is even more likely they become exposed.

Home

The next place that children often become exposed to asbestos is through their own homes. If the home contains asbestos, the entire family will likely become exposed at some point in their lives. Old homes have more asbestos-containing materials, but some newer homes have also been found to have asbestos fibers. If you have children in the home, you must have the home tested for asbestos through a licensed professional.

Children are becoming exposed to asbestos, and the diseases are showing up at an earlier age than when adults are exposed. It is believed that children are more likely to develop an asbestos-related illness if they are exposed early in life, compared to older adults. If you have children, it is crucial to ensure their safety when it comes to asbestos fibers. Before doing any remodels or renovations, have your home tested for asbestos.

If you have a member of your family that works in a field where asbestos exposure could happen, ensure they are careful. They can shower and change clothes at their job or ensure they do not touch children until after they have taken a shower.

Is it Allergies or an Asbestos-Related Illness?

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Asbestos-related illnesses are on the rise, and so is the concern of asbestos exposure. People want to know if they have been exposed and what the symptoms might be. Unfortunately, once exposed to asbestos, it could take decades to show up in your body. It has been shown that asbestos can stay dormant in your body for 70 years before showing up as mesothelioma or asbestosis. With the rising concern, it is no surprise that everyone wants to know if their symptoms are allergies or asbestos-related illnesses. Below, we will discuss some of the more common symptoms of asbestos-related illnesses compared to the common cold or allergies.

Tightness in Chest

While tightness in your chest could be regular respiratory problems, it is also a common symptom of asbestos-related diseases. Asbestosis and pleural effusions can cause tightening in the chest. If your symptoms tend to last longer than a few weeks, you should see your doctor to rule out asbestos exposure or other severe illnesses.

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is the number one symptom of asbestos-related illnesses. Asbestos affects your lungs and can cause significant respiratory distress. If you have severe shortness of breath, see your doctor, it could be mesothelioma or another asbestos-related severe illness.

A different Sounding Cough

Coughing is a typical sign of allergies, but if your cough is sounding different or is prolonged, see your doctor. A crackling or hacking cough is a sign of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other respiratory illnesses caused by asbestos exposure. If your cough has gotten worse or you are coughing up blood, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Asbestos-related illnesses are very severe, and the symptoms do not go away. If you think you have allergies, see your doctor. Allergies should only last for short amounts of time, if your symptoms last longer, it could be from an asbestos-related illness. This is especially the case if you have worked in areas where you may have been exposed to asbestos fibers.

Asbestos Siding and Roofing Removal

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Most people know about asbestos inside the home. They know it is in insulation, drywall, and textured ceilings, but what a lot of people don’t know is that it can be in your siding and roofing. Asbestos has been used in most types of construction materials throughout the years. Asbestos is strong, cheap, and heat resistant. This made it the perfect bonding material for exterior materials. Asbestos in siding and roofing is not a new thing. It has always been used in these materials, but it is often overlooked as a danger because it is outside. While it does pose less of a risk, you can still be exposed to asbestos outdoors.

While there is always a chance your roofing or siding contains asbestos, it isn’t likely for newer homes. It is possible, but not very common. If your home was built before the late 90s, it likely contains asbestos fibers. Asbestos was used in most construction materials up until the late 90s. If you own an older home, you should have it tested for asbestos-containing materials. Asbestos fibers are microscopic and can quickly become airborne and float through the air for miles, exposing people nowhere near your home. This is the reason asbestos testing and removal must be completed on buildings that are being destroyed. If asbestos fibers escape, a lot of people could end up exposed.

Never try to remove the siding and roofing of an older home without having an asbestos test completed. If the siding and roofing do contain asbestos, then it will need to be removed by a certified asbestos abatement company. Laws and regulations make it illegal for people to remove and dispose of asbestos themselves. You must have the proper licenses. This is done to protect everyone in the area. Asbestos exposure can cause severe illnesses, so it is important to let the professionals remove all asbestos from the exterior of your home!