Asbestos Testing and Abatement | Environmental Consulting
Asbestos Inspections/ Surveys
In the State of Texas, public and commercial properties are required to have an asbestos inspection / survey prior to performing a renovation or demolition project. All of Precision’s Inspectors are licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services and final reports meet all city and state requirements.
The sampling strategy Precision employs is in general accordance with Texas Asbestos Health Protection Act (TAHPA) Texas Civil Statutes Article 4477-3a, as amended, and EPA AHERA sampling protocol.
As required by the State, a minimum of three (3) samples will be collected of each identified suspect material (i.e. anything that is not wood, metal or glass). Our inspectors are trained to be as discreet as possible in sampling as to not disturb on going business. The samples are analyzed using Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) in conjunction with dispersion staining techniques by a lab that is NVLAP certified and Department of State Health Services licensed.
If the sampled material is found to contain greater then 1% asbestos, then it is considered a regulated material.
Asbestos Abatement Consulting & Air Monitoring
If asbestos containing materials (anything containing above 1% asbestos) will be disturbed by renovation or demolition activities in a public of commercial building, then the State of Texas requires the materials to be removed by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor. Precision will work with your chosen abatement contractor and develop project specifications for the contractor to follow during remediation. Precision will also provide a licensed asbestos abatement air monitoring technician / project manager for project oversight.
The Importance of Testing for and Removing Asbestos
For decades, asbestos was used in home construction because of its flame-resistant qualities. However, studies have now shown that asbestos can be a dangerous substance for humans. So, ensuring you do asbestos testing to identify asbestos containing materials and get rid of it in your environment is vitally important.
Read more about: What is Asbestos?
What is Asbestos?
The reason asbestos was used so much in the 20th century is because it is a naturally occurring mineral, made up of fibers. When it was found to be resistant to heat, electricity and corrosion, builders though it to be highly useful, in many materials including plastics, cements, paper, and even clothing. At the time, it was not known that exposure to asbestos could also be highly toxic.
In 1986, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act came about, legally recognizing two categories of asbestos and six types.
The fibers in Amphibole Asbestos are straight and jagged, and include five types of asbestos:
If the asbestos fibers are curly, they are put into the category of Serpentine Asbestos. As there are only six recognized types of asbestos, that leaves only one for this category:
Read more about: Why is Asbestos Testing Important?
Environmental Solutions | Why is Asbestos Testing Important?
Asbestos can be a very harmful material, and, as such, should be taken very seriously. With older homes and buildings being the main source of asbestos in the United States, contamination can happen easier than you may think. You would not want to start a home restoration project only to face a setback due to asbestos being found. Having a professional contractor do the asbestos testing for you before any construction begins can save you some hassle later.
Protect your family from exposures to Asbestos
Some signs you may have been exposed to asbestos include, swelling or pain the abdomen, an obstruction of the bowels, weight loss, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, hernia, loss of appetite or clubbed fingers. But, over a long period of time the effects of asbestos can be much more severe.
The reason asbestos testing is so important is because exposure can lead to a number of health-related conditions, including certain cancers. The worst effects typically happen when a person is exposed to a lot of the mineral, or if they are exposed to it regularly over time. Once the fibers are disturbed and become airborne, they can be easily inhaled. Once asbestos begins accumulating in the body, there is not currently a way to reverse the damage it causes.
One of the most common health-related concerns linked to asbestos exposure is Mesothelioma, which is a type of cancer that affects the thin layer of tissue that covers the internal organs. Most commonly, the lungs and chest wall are affected. Even today, about 3,000 new cases of Mesothelioma are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.
According to The Mesothelioma Center:
- Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos.
- It accounts for less than 0.3% of all cancer diagnoses in the country.
- There are four types of mesothelioma: Pleural, peritoneal, pericardial and testicular. Pleural is the most common type, representing about 75% of all mesothelioma cases.
- Out of all people with heavy, prolonged exposure to asbestos, 2% to 10% develop pleural mesothelioma.
- Symptoms of mesothelioma usually do not show until 20-50 years after asbestos exposure, which is when tumors have grown and spread.
- The average life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is 12 to 22 months.
Asbestos can also lead to other serious health-related issues, including ovarian and laryngeal cancer. But some patients with asbestos exposure are also at risk of the following conditions:
- Asbestosis happens when asbestos causes scarring of the lung tissue and can lead to shortness of breath and Mesothelioma.
- Pleural effusions cause a build-up of fluid between layers of the outside of the lungs.
- Pleural plaques can build-up in the outside layers of the lungs and put patients at risk for certain cancers.
- Pleuritis is the inflammation of the membranes lining the lungs and can cause sharp pains when breathing.
- COPD, or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, causes inflammation that can obstruct airflow to the lungs.
In many cases, the symptoms of asbestos exposure will not appear immediately. Sometimes, decades can pass before someone notices their health-related issues.
Read more about: Where should I test for asbestos in my home?
Where should I test for asbestos in my home?
While asbestos is not completely banned in the United States, its uses are regulated by the government. Asbestos is no longer used in products such as:
- Vinyl asbestos tiles
- Asbestos cement
- Asbestos roofing felt
- Asbestos adhesives, sealants and coatings
- Asbestos reinforced plastics
These days, the most common asbestos exposure to it takes place through renovations and demolitions of older buildings and homes that still have asbestos products. During the 20th century, asbestos was used in construction-related products such as:
- Adhesives for roofs, plumbing, flooring and wall panels
- Felt for floors, roofs and in paper mills
- Fireproofing paints and sprays
- Loose-fitting and wrap insulations
- Plastics used in appliances, tools and some cookware
- Sheets of cement, drywall, roof shingles and siding
- Vinyl flooring, wallpaper or floor tiles
So, if you are planning a home renovation project in an older home, you will need to be cautious and get Asbestos Testing.
How do I get rid of asbestos and do asbestos abatement?
Before starting a renovation project, you should consider hiring a professional to do asbestos testing to inspect for any materials that may be damaged during the process. Companies, such as Precision Environmental Services, with trained and certified experts, are best equipped to locate and handle the situation should there be asbestos products present in your home.
Read more about: What to Expect with Asbestos Testing
Asbestos Inspection – What to Expect with Asbestos Testing
If inspectors find asbestos in your home, they may suggest a complete removal of the mineral. This process is called abatement, or encapsulation. During this process, the products containing asbestos are coated with a sealant that prevents its fibers from becoming airborne. If the damage to the materials is extensive enough, they will need to be completely removed from your home. Once out of your home, the materials are typically taken to a landfill that is properly equipped to handle toxic materials.
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