While initially quiet, the connections between asbestos exposures and respiratory health consequences have been whispered about since the 1950’s. Unfortunately, its use continued to be widespread until the late 1970’s when it was officially banned by the U.S. federal government.
Contrary to popular belief, not all asbestos is truly hazardous. When asbestos-containing materials (materials containing 1% or more asbestos) are structurally intact, they are generally not hazardous as their fibers aren’t available for inhalation. However, when the fibers are damaged, they are rendered friable. The official working definition for friable materials is those which are able to be crushed or destroyed by human hand pressure. If any asbestos-containing material is in this condition it is potentially hazardous and necessitating abatement.
Asbestos abatement is a growing industry in which safe removal of asbestos is overseen by regulated firms. Each asbestos abatement firm must obtain a state license to practice abatement within a given state. Regulations and guidelines are stringent with regards to the safe ways to handle and dispose of friable asbestos material.
Under no circumstances should any unlicensed person conduct abatement activities unless under consultation with an abatement firm or state guidelines concerning the proper procedures. Unlicensed abatement can lead to potentially harmful inhalation of friable asbestos fibers, which can have serious health consequences. For more information contact a licensed asbestos abatement firm and be sure to read up on local guidelines for asbestos removal in your area.
Last modified: April 07, 2010.