As asbestos is a hazardous building material, there are certain recommended ways and safety measures to be followed when it comes to asbestos disposal. The four main methods comprise of controlled wet stripping, dry stripping, hot stripping and removal by high pressured water.
Contrary to popular belief, even if asbestos has been used in many old building construction projects, often it is safer to allow the material to remain than having to remove it. Experts state that, unless it is found necessary, asbestos should not be removed or disposed of. The natural form of this mineral is not hazardous as it is felt to be. In past decades, it has been used in different commercial, industrial and residential construction projects. From constructing boats to buildings, it is a common construction, a mineral used in different forms. It has several beneficial properties that make it ideal for construction such as being able to resist high temperature, abrasion, alkaline and acid solutions and has insulating properties to offer.
The hazardous qualities of asbestos come through when this material is disturbed. If it is sawed or crushed, chiseled or handled by humans manually, that is when a toxic powder is formed. The powder can affect the lungs and cause an aggressive form of cancer. For such reasons, the handling of asbestos or removal of the same has to be done by qualified and licensed contractors or workers.
Asbestos in its fragile state should not be worked upon. When removal becomes a necessity, it can be done by the stripping methods mentioned. Dry stripping involves removing asbestos without moisture. This is the least recommended process as a lot of dust is generated and level of toxins released into the air is very high. The process of asbestos removal by directing high-pressure water is a recommended way to remove asbestos. When water is directed at high pressure onto asbestos tiles, these are removed by force and help to prevent the particles from rising in the air. Controlled wet stripping is a process of injecting warm water into asbestos, which in turn weighs down the materials and controls the dust that is released when the asbestos tiles need to be removed.
Hot stripping is another technique whereby a ventilation system is created where all the residue can be collected. Asbestos fibers are blown out by hot air and collected in this system. Any of such procedures should not be tried without professional help. If you are looking for asbestos removal vancouver try the Vancouver Pros.
Asbestos litigation comprises of lawsuits that are filed regarding the cancerous diseases that have affected the lives of many who have worked with this hazardous building material. The lawsuits that have been filed in this category are several against suppliers, asbestos manufacturers, and employers of construction companies. Plaintiffs in most cases have suffered from diseases linked to asbestos, such as lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma and others. They have been exposed to asbestos products at certain locations or come in contact due to work requirements. In such filings, plaintiffs have asked for compensation for the injuries they have suffered or what has made them lose their capability to earn a living.
The first cases were found in the twenties when an initial case was lodged against a manufacturer who produced asbestos products. There have been numerous cases across the world since then as people got to know about the side effects of asbestos and of working with such a material.
Indeed the longest mass cases in legal history are over asbestos litigation. Due to the massive lawsuits raised and compensation amounts demanded many companies and businesses had to go out of business or file for bankruptcy.
Asbestos has been a common construction material whose fibers are known to be carcinogenic today. Before the adverse effects of the fibers were discovered, many people were exposed to asbestos dust when they worked on construction sites without taking safety measures, handled such substances manually, and inhaled the polluted air in or near such construction sites and so forth.
As a result of uncontrolled exposure to asbestos fibers, many workers suffered from aggressive carcinogens diseases of the lungs, which proved fatal, leaving them incapacitated to work for a long time as well as their families deprived of an earning member due to a disease contracted in an occupational workplace. Hence, many plaintiffs or their dependents raised lawsuits against employers and asbestos manufacturers, which showcased their despair and anger of being exposed to such a hazardous building material without information about the hazards involved or without due safety measures being adopted.
These are some aspects to know about asbestos litigation cases that had been a major concern in earlier decades. It is important that proper education and safety measures are adopted at construction sites and by suppliers to prevent such harm to happen to others in current times.
Those people, who work as an asbestos contractor in different countries need to undergo special training and certification to handle such substances that are deemed dangerous to the environment as well as for human health. In a country like the US, you need to be certified when you work as an asbestos contractor. Such a professional needs to have the right certification as well as insurance to work in this field.
In most cases, building contractors who take on special assignments dealing with hazardous building materials like asbestos need to have the right certification and insurance as well as apply for taking on such assignments. The application is a requirement as it provides them with an insurance coverage, which is part of a workers’ compensation policy. Depending on the state where one is working, there might be additional requirements for working as an asbestos contractor.
With the hazards known of working with asbestos, many contractors take on courses or are asked to attend such workshops where they are taught on how asbestos needs to be handled. For instance, in the state of Michigan in the US all workers are asked to take on a course certified by the Environmental Protection Agency that provides training in asbestos removal. In other states, applicants are asked to fill out forms that indicate that they are aware of the safety provisions they need to follow for removing asbestos in a safe manner.
There are contractors who employ other workers and for firms that take on construction projects and assignments. For such companies, there are similar provisions to comply with before they take on asbestos removal and similar projects concerning such hazardous building material or substance.
The safety requirements are as per the nature of the projects and the amount of asbestos that need to be dealt with. For instance, if there is asbestos material present in pipes that are about ten feet depth or less, special measures are not required or the assistance of certified asbestos removal contractors. Certified professionals are required to come on board when asbestos ceilings need to be removed or there are asbestos tiles on roofs that need removal. In US states it is illegal to take on such work by any contractor who is not a certified contractor for asbestos removal.
Those who are certified as an asbestos removal contractor need to pay a certain fee when they apply for their certification or license. These have a valid time span and need to renew, usually on an annual basis. Professionals who are specialists in asbestos abatement need to take on courses and pass them in order to be eligible for the certification or licensing of such work.
In the case of Europe, the licensing requirements vary. In the UK there is no special license to be obtained, but adequate training is required for building contractors to be taken who might have to work with this building material.
Asbestos has been in the news for the adverse effects that it produces in construction sites where contamination hazards have been found. It is imperative that we understand more about this substance and the different categories of asbestos that exist. If you thought that it is a manufactured material, you would be mistaken. This is a mineral that naturally occurs. It is known to have fire retardant properties for which it became popular in the making of roofs in olden days. It is also known to offer insulation properties. Hence, it was put to use not only in the making of roofs but also for the roofs of vehicles. Later on, it was discovered that fibers that are released from asbestos substances cause an aggressive form of cancer also known as mesothelioma.
Categories of asbestos
There are six main categories of asbestos – Crocidolite, Anthophyllite, Amosite, Chrysotile, Tremolite, and Actinolite. Among these different types, Crocidolite is easily recognized for its blue hues. It is naturally occurring in different parts of the world such as in Australia, Canada, and Russia. It is also considered the most toxic of all categories of asbestos. Amosite has gray and brown hues and its fibers are brittle and straight. This is found in large quantities in South Africa. Anthophyllite asbestos comes in different colors like gray, brown, green, white and others. Before it used to be put in paints, sealants and even in talcum powder in the powder like quality its fibers have. Tremolite is a white asbestos found in rocks in Switzerland.
Due to the recent discovery of carcinogens found in asbestos types, it is still mined in different parts of the world but with due precaution. The substances are banned from consumer purchase in several countries such as Europe and US.