How to Minimize Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos

Exposure to asbestos could prove to be fatal in worst cases. Inhalation of this harmful building material and being in direct contact with it can lead to various serious illnesses. Most of the time, contractors and other workers whose jobs involve being around asbestos for an extended amount of time, are more prone to getting affected by the substance.

If you are not a contractor or a builder, there’s still some chance that you or your family could be exposed to asbestos. Asbestos can be difficult to spot, especially for someone who is not a professional in asbestos inspection, removal, or abatement.

Still, as a homeowner, how can you tell if the home you are living in has asbestos?

Asbestos is mostly banned by many countries for construction purposes nowadays, but during earlier times, it was a popular choice when it comes to building materials for residential properties. This is particularly true for older homes, ones that are built before the 1980s. If your property was built earlier than the year 1980, there’s a high possibility that your house has asbestos.

If your home has floor tiles or vinyl tiles that are 9 x 9 inches in size, there’s also a chance it has asbestos.

Asbestos wasn’t only used for flooring, they may also be present in flat roofs, old pipes, fireplace, and other insulation materials.

If you suspect that your home has asbestos but you are not sure, you should be calling the professionals immediately for inspection. It is imperative that the asbestos is removed from your home as soon as possible to minimize the risk of being exposed to it.

While waiting for them, it’s important that you leave what you suspect to be asbestos alone. Do NOT touch, tap, or drill the material. Asbestos is most dangerous once disturbed and particles are released into the air.

How to Choose the Right Asbestos Removal Company

Asbestos Removal

Asbestos is an extremely dangerous building substance that can bring about fatal illnesses to anyone who has inhaled a significant amount. For this very reason, using of asbestos has been banned by many, just like the EU.

Hiring professional asbestos removal or asbestos abatement company is something strongly recommended by the government. Dealing with asbestos isn’t just dangerous, it can be tricky, too. It might take an expert eye to identify an area with asbestos, or a location that has asbestos that was disturbed.

Asbestos is most dangerous if it is in a powdered, crumbled form. When particles of this crumbled asbestos get inhaled by an individual, it gets into their system. The asbestos gets stuck inside the body because the human body is incapable of removing it.

Asbestos Removal, Asbestos Removal Company

Early identification and removal of asbestos can save lives, and thorough removal may just be achieved by experts in the field.

Here are some ways you can choose the right asbestos removal company:

  • Ask for recommendations from friends or relatives – One of the surefire ways you get to hire a great asbestos removal company is by asking people you trust. Since these people have a firsthand experience in hiring someone, it’s almost certain that they know what they are talking about.
  • Ask for references from your prospective asbestos removal company – A reputable company should have a list of previous clients. Get in touch with these clients and ask them for their feedback.
  • Check the company’s website – Although not always reliable, you can check the company’s official website and look for feedback from past customers.
  • Inquire about insurance – A good company should have insurance in case something unfortunate, like an accident, happens while they are working on your property.
  • Look for other companies – The more choices you have, the better. This gives you the option to compare the services and prices side by side. The best asbestos removal Vancouver has to offer is Vancouver Asbestos Pros.

Disadvantages of Removing Asbestos Yourself

Removing Asbestos

In some places in Canada, one of the leading causes of occupational deaths is due to exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma, Asbestosis, and other asbestos-related cancer are just some of the most dangerous diseases any person can develop because of prolonged exposure to the toxic material.

It is highly recommended by the Canadian government for homeowners to hire a professional asbestos removal company to handle any asbestos removal task because of how harmful asbestos can be, especially if not handled the right way. The government even advises everyone to refrain from disturbing any asbestos materials at all.

However, there are still some who insist on doing the jobs themselves to save money. While it is not really illegal for individuals to do the removal themselves, there are strict regulations that should be followed if you really want to carry on the task independently.

If you truly want to do the job with no help from professionals, you must take into consideration the disadvantages of removing asbestos yourself:

  • First of all, you would need to have all the appropriate protective clothing and gear before you start removing the toxic material. The complete protective clothing required includes:
    • Overalls that would not be penetrated by asbestos in any way.
    • Respiratory Protective Equipment or RPE with a HEPA filter to ensure that asbestos fiber or asbestos dust would not be inhaled
    • Protective boots or disposable boot covers

Removing Asbestos

This means that even if you want to save some money, you might not be able to save much because you have to purchase all these protective items.

  • Aside from that, in some locations, it is required by the law that there should be at least one asbestos removal professional when removing asbestos. Therefore, you will still be hiring a professional, and you will still need to pay them.
  • Finally, asbestos disposal is not easy either. There are specific guidelines needed to be complied with in disposing of asbestos. This could be quite inconvenient.

Save yourself from the possible dangers of exposure to asbestos. Asbestos removal is not an easy task, it’s best that you leave it in the hands of professionals.

What is Asbestos and Why is it Dangerous?

Asbestos is one of the most common materials used in building construction. It is a building material utilized particularly in making roofs, enhancing the insulation of a building, as well as making a structure fireproof and soundproof.

While there are many obvious benefits to using asbestos for building structures, there is a major downside to using this material for construction purposes.

 

Health Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

Exposure to asbestos can be quite dangerous to human health. Asbestos fibers can be hard for the body to get rid of once they get into a person’s system.

There are a number of serious diseases that might result from asbestos exposure such as Asbestosis, different forms of cancer including Mesothelioma, and various lung diseases because of exposure to asbestos.

Asbestosis – Asbestosis is one of the most common diseases caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to scarring of the lungs. This respiratory disease can result in symptoms such as shortness of breath, persistent cough, as well as fatigue. Asbestosis could also cause other critical health problems such as cancer.

Mesothelioma – Mesothelioma is a form of cancer primarily affecting the lungs, abdomen, and chest. According to an article from Oregon State University, in the US, around 10% of workers who have jobs in the production of gas masks that contain asbestos, develop Mesothelioma.

The American Cancer Institute has also stated that several studies found out that asbestos exposure can lead to cancer of the larynx and the ovaries.

 

Who are at Risk of Asbestos Exposure?

Individuals who are at risk of being exposed to a substantial amount of asbestos are mostly workers who have jobs in manufacturers of products containing asbestos.

Contractors who are exposed to building materials that have asbestos such as roofs are also at risk of inhalation of this dangerous material.