The implementation of key procedures applies for the personal protection and environment safety, according to the EPA and OSHA standards. The risk factors increase when the asbestos containing materials (ACM) are subject to external disturbance during asbestos removal. The release of asbestos fibers into the air could result in health hazards not only for the inhabitants of the building, but also to the neighbors. Hence you should apply caution and follow the safety and protection procedures. Some of them are related to wetting procedures, enclosure erection, isolation, ventilation, portable tools, and safe procedures.
Risk Analysis and Prevention (also Corrections)
- Asbestos Types: The two basic types of asbestos are friable and non-friable. The size of the friable type contains more than 1% of ACM. It can be easily reduced to powder form when it is pulverized or crushed under low pressure. The ACM whose tensile strength is higher than 16,000LB/Sq-Inch is called the non-friable asbestos. This material may need to be removed due to its aging factors and decreasing usability. The risks associated with the friable types are stated to be much higher (1:10) compared to the non-friable.
- Personal Risks: personal risks are mainly associated with health hazards, especially among the children, the elderly and the patients. The airborne concentration higher than 00.6 particles per cubic meter is considered to be risky. Concentration, duration and frequency also increase the risks. The mainly affected parts are the lungs, heart, and the cardiovascular system. The side effects may result in damages to any of the internal and external organs, including the skin. Risks include infections, diseases, disability, and the multiple forms of cancer.
- Environment Risks: Air, soil and water pollution are the key environmental risks. The concentration of contamination varies from home asbestos emission to industrial emissions. But the impact could be long term and short term.
- Preventive Measures: Preventive measures are to be taken before the removal work starts. They include the usage of protective hoods, air filters (half and full face air filters with battery driven pumps), shoes and gloves. All the equipment should be certified according to the OSHA and EPA standards. The environment protection measures include erection of enclosure within the removal site (polyethylene, polycarbonate, and other synthetic materials that cover the floor also) of minimum two layers (6MIL) according to the §1926.1101(g) of the EPA and OSHA standards. You should block all the ventilation pipes and exhausts which could release the fumes to the external environment. Negative pressure inside the enclosure should be created by a standard electrical unit with HEPA filters, ducting connection, temperature control and a specific air flow rate. This value varies, depending on the total working area. Make sure of using the low pressure pumps to wet the ACM during the removal process (water and wetting agent). Pre removal cleaning procedures include vacuuming, hand cleaning and vacuuming the entire area. Air input from the decontamination unit and release through negative pressure units will ensure complete environmental safety.
- Emergency Preparation: The emergency preparation is put into use, when the situation goes out of control due to unforeseen factors. Equipment failure, protection failure, safety device failure, power failure and conformance to safety standards can result in emergency situations. You should ensure backup and corrective measures within the shortest possible time.
Need for Certified Asbestos Abatement
The need for certified asbestos abatement contractors becomes critical when you wish to cover multiple residential apartments and homes including commercial buildings. They have the license for removal, packing and disposal from the state and federal governments. They can take care of all the procedures from getting the permission to documentation, statutory procedures, insurance, environmental clearances, and access to the licensed disposal units. They also have an infrastructure consisting of equipment, safety gadgets, tools and the required backup materials.
Safety Measures and Costs
Conformance to EPA and OSHA guidelines requires the implementation of all the men, material, machine and methods related to asbestos abatement, and it costs money. It is certainly not inexpensive, but it is surely safe and prevents many of the potentially serious health hazards.
- Personal Safety: The safety hoods are disposable. The high negative/positive pressure respiratory equipment with masks (rental), battery powered pumps and disposable filters also cost money. Besides, you should pay for the inspection team and workforce.
- Environment Safety: The costs of environmental safety include enclosures (mostly disposable), and rentals for decontaminators, negative pressure builders, vacuums, pressure pumps, sealants, waste bags, adhesives and accessories, transportation trucks, and the fee for disposal units.
- Other Equipment: mobile ladders, cleaning tools, power tools (preferably battery driven to avoid electrical installation expenses and risks), disposable washing materials and fabrics, etc, are needed for making the abatement fully safe and pollution free. You need to calculate the costs related to material purchase and equipment rentals.
- Post Removal: The post removal cleaning and testing procedures require minimum of 48 hours, before you can safely love back into your home. Continuous monitoring and air quality testing procedures are repeated frequently. You need to stay out of your home, which requires expenses for your family’s food and accommodation.
- Insurance Costs: Insuring the health risks and property damages is one of the key aspects you need to remember while opting for asbestos abatement. The contractors can guide you about the insurance type and coverage for your entire family. Not many of the insurance agencies are prepared to extend the coverage for the asbestos abatement. In such circumstances you need to search for the medical coverage for the exposure to asbestos exposure in the post removal period. For example, the insurance services Lincoln County, Montana offer coverage for asbestosis, pleural plaques, internal organ malignancies etc. In such instances you may have to consider the costs of insurance also.
You can use and electronic spreadsheet on your computer to note down all the related costs. Then compare the quotes given by your contractor with others. Choosing the right contractor also depends on service quality, long term safety and reliability for future maintenance needs.