Roger Francoeur, President of RPF Environmental, Inc. recently wrote an article for High Profile, a magazine that reports the news on New England facilities, discussing the use of asbestos in modern building construction and remodeling or restoration. You can read the entire text of the article in full on High Profile’s website.
Modern Use of Asbestos
Many people are stunned to learn that the use of asbestos is not only perfectly legal still (unlike other materials that have been outright banned, such as lead-based paint). In fact, it’s still commonly found in things such as flooring, putty, roofing, siding, insulations, plaster, gaskets, and a ton more. One of the biggest possible sources of asbestos is spray-on insulation, which has become all the rage in modern buildings due to its efficiency, durability, and ease of installation.
Health Effects of Asbestos
The health effects of asbestos are widely known, as a relatively recent rash of bad press regarding asbestos-based products has brought the issue to public light. “Asbestos is a carcinogen, and epidemiological studies demonstrate that several diseases are related to asbestos exposure,” Francoeur writes. “A general rule of thumb is that if it isn’t wood, metal, or rubber, then the EPA likely considers it a suspect [asbestos containing building material].”
Dealing with Asbestos in Your Building
Many contractors are unaware of the inspections for asbestos containing building materials (ACBMs) that are required by state and federal agencies prior to any renovation or demolition procedures.
If asbestos is present in your construction site and will be disturbed by your work, then the typical steps that must be followed include:
- Remediation or work plan: Before beginning your work (ideally during the planning phase of your project), you should run tests, including collecting samples in order to file a proper report and work plan for your project.
- Notifications: once your plan and testing is completed, you must give notice to all contractors as well as to the appropriate state agency. This can be quite a large added expense, and will take some time as the EPA requires a 10-day notice to be given.
- Abatement: All removal and abatement must be performed by an insured and licensed abatement contractor who can handle the removal, repair, packaging, and proper disposal of asbestos. This can be a very time-consuming process to perform properly, and all contractors should be monitored by an independent hygiene monitoring firm.
- Records: Within 30 days of the completion of the abatement work, the abatement contractor must submit a large number of documents to the property owner to demonstrate that the abatement was performed properly.
If you need a high-quality inspection or environmental report for your construction project, RPF Environmental, Inc. can assist you. We are one of the leading firms in environmental consultation, having developed a strong track record of accurate reporting and reliable analysis since our formation in 1991. We guarantee some of the fastest turnaround available thanks to our extensive array of experts in many fields and vast pool of resources that are available to us.
To schedule a consultation for your project, call RPF Environmental Inc. today at 603-942-5432.