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What Is Asbestos?

Friday, June 12, 2015
What Is Asbestos?

 

The dreaded "A" word: Asbestos. What was once thought to be a miracle mineral is now a dangerous nuisance. Although asbestos usage was mostly halted in the late 1970s, individuals, particularly in schools, hospitals, old homes, factories, and commercial buildings, still run the risk of exposure. Read on to learn more about asbestos and how 1Source can help you to protect your employees.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos survey and removal services by 1SSH

According to the EPA, asbestos refers to a set of six naturally occurring, extremely durable and fire/chemical resistant fibrous minerals. The strength of asbestos, along with its durability and heat resistance, led it to be the material of choice in roofing shingles, floor tiles, ceiling materials, textile products, and car parts. Exposure to asbestos is directly and scientifically linked to a number of lung and respiratory health conditions.

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3 Frequently Asked Questions About Asbestos

  1. If asbestos is being removed, how do I know if I am being exposed to asbestos fibers?
    1. Asbestos removal can only be conducted inside a 'regulated area'. The regulated area is sealed with polyethylene sheets sealed with tape. Caution signs are placed at the entrances to warn people that asbestos fibers may be released inside the containment. HVAC systems are sealed to prevent dispersal of fibers throughout the building. 1Source will monitor asbestos removal projects and conduct visual inspections and air sampling to verify that asbestos fibers are not released from the regulated area.
       
  2. Is training required for maintenance and engineering staff coming into contact with asbestos?
    1. Employees who may have contact with asbestos materials but will not intentionally disturb the materials should receive Asbestos Awareness Training. The training should include recognition of asbestos containing materials, hazards of asbestos exposures, and procedures to follow if damaged asbestos materials are encountered.
       
  3. What do I do if there are asbestos materials in a construction project I am managing?
    1. If asbestos materials may be disturbed during renovation activities, the asbestos materials must be removed. 1Source will work with you and the project architect or engineer to define the scope of work for asbestos removal, develop removal specifications, and help select qualified and licensed contractors.
Have more questions about asbestos? Contact Chris Schneider, CIH, at 610.524.5525 x14 or click here to Email Chris.

 

Current Safety Topic

Conducting a Facility Asbestos Survey

An asbestos survey is essential to identify and assess asbestos materials during the early planning of a renovation project. The asbestos survey report is then a tool to use for the operations and maintenance program, hazard communication, coordinating with contractors and planning renovations.

Danger Asbestos yellow warning tape close up

The asbestos survey should be completed by an EPA-certified and state-licensed asbestos building inspector. The survey should identify all asbestos-containing material, including friable materials such as pipe insulation, fittings, tank insulation, fireproofing, and acoustic plaster, as well as nonfriable materials such as floor tiles, mastic, transite panels, exterior siding, etc.

Quantities and conditions of accessible asbestos materials should be determined, and the surveyor should note if there might be concealed asbestos materials above ceilings, in pipe chases, under carpets, etc.

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