Asbestos is a building material that’s known to have detrimental health effects. Asbestos removal specialists safely take asbestos out of buildings in Massachusetts and dispose of it.
Most qualified asbestos removal specialists in Massachusetts have completed an EPA-curriculum on how to handle the building material safely. Specialists may be certified as workers, contractors/supervisors, inspectors, management planners, project designers or project monitors.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that’s known for its insulating properties. Its soft fibers are resistant to both electricity and heat, as well as chemical corrosion.
The United States legally recognizes six different asbestiform minerals:
Winchite and richterite would have been added to the list by legislation that was introduced in 2008, but the legislation wasn’t passed.
Asbestos has largely been mined for use in construction materials, although it’s also been used in cosmetics, cigarette filters, plastics, talcum and clothing.
In construction, asbestos has been used where thermal insulation, electrical insulation or fire retardation has been needed. It can be found in/on:
Insulation used in homes and appliances
Skyscrapers’ girders (for fireproofing)
Floor and ceiling tile adhesives
Throughout the 1970s, the federal government passed several laws concerning the use of asbestos:
In 1973, the use of asbestos in spray-applied insulating and fireproofing materials was banned
In 1975, certain uses of asbestos in block and pipe insulation was banned
In 1977, the use of asbestos in wall patching compounds and artificial fireplace embers was banned
In 1978, the use of asbestos in other spray-applied surfacing materials was banned
The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1989 further banned many other asbestos-containing products, but this ban was overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Other spray-applied materials that are more than 1 percent asbestos were banned in 1990.
Generally speaking, the widespread use of asbestos products in construction materials was phased out by the 1980s. Safer products, such as polyurethane foam, amorphous silica fabric, thermoset plastic flour and cellulose fiber, are typically used today.
When asbestos was used in construction, there wasn’t a universal system for labeling materials that contain the mineral. Additionally, it’s impossible to tell whether materials contain asbestos by merely looking at them.
Therefore, Massachusetts property owners should assume older building materials may contain asbestos. It’s normally better to consult an asbestos abatement specialist and determined whether the mineral is present than to suffer the potential negative health consequences of being exposed.
What Health Effects Does Asbestos Cause?
When airborne, asbestos fibers can accumulate in the lungs, where they can cause a range of diseases
There are several non-cancerous diseases caused by asbestos that can make breathing difficult. They include:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Asbestos exposure may also lead to three different cancers, which are:
Asbestos generally doesn’t pose a health hazard unless its fibers become airborne and are inhaled. Therefore, it’s sometimes safest to leave asbestos products undisturbed where they are.
When it needs to be removed, asbestos should be handled by asbestos abatement specialists. These trained specialists know how to protect themselves and others while taking asbestos out of buildings, and they’re familiar with disposal regulations.
If you have a building in Massachusetts that might contain asbestos, contact the asbestos removal professionals at Rosado Environmental. Our asbestos abatement team has safely removed asbestos from residential and commercial buildings, and we’d be happy to look at any potential asbestos-containing materials in your building.