When a building has asbestos in its construction, it is a serious matter. It needs to be handled cautiously in its removal and abatement. Years ago, asbestos was a commonly used material in commercial and industrial construction. However, in the 1970s, products that were made with asbestos were banned in the United States due to negative health effects found to be linked to exposure. This makes demolition of buildings with asbestos especially hazardous and requires specific knowledge and skill.
At Prime Demolition, we are experienced in asbestos removal and asbestos abatement for any size or type of building. We are an OSHA certified company and we adhere to many regulations that have been established for the procedures demolition companies must follow in this highly specialized type of work. We use state-of-the-art materials and equipment to safely and effectively work with asbestos and other hazardous materials.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is made up of six silicate minerals that are thin, microscopic fibers. It has characteristics that make it strong, fireproof, and resistant to heat and chemicals. These attributes made it a commonly used additive in a variety of products during the mid- to late-1900s. Asbestos is found in naturally occurring deposits all around the world and was obtained through open-pit mining. It reached its height of mining and subsequent use in the late 1960s and 1970s.
Dangers of Asbestos
Though asbestos is located near the earth’s surface and miners worked above ground to obtain it, the process produced a dangerous health hazard for those working with it. Drilling and blasting during open-pit mining released dangerous fibers and toxins into the air, exposing miners, workers, and residents near the mines to harm. Illnesses such as mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers became prevalent to those who were exposed. When asbestos fibers are breathed into the lungs, they can stay for long periods of time.
Materials Containing Asbestos
All asbestos is fibrous. There are several types of asbestos, each defined by the appearance of the fibers. Some fibers, called serpentine fibers, are long, curly, and pliable. Others, called amphibole fibers, are short, straight, needle-like, and stiff. In the heyday of asbestos, it was used in many products such as cement, insulation, sealants, and tiles.
Caution and Protective Measures
When performing demolition of a structure that contains asbestos, it is crucial to use protective measures. During demolition, building materials are disturbed causing a situation where asbestos fibers become airborne and can be inhaled, affecting those performing the work, residing nearby, and passing by. We make sure to understand the level of asbestos that is in the construction materials before we begin. Our asbestos removal work involves:
- Trained and skilled workers
- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Specialist removal techniques
- Hazardous waste removal
- Specialist clean up