Asbestos: Dangers Lurking in Your Home
Asbestos has become widely popular across the nations after the World War II. However, after various studies carried out by many experts for many years, asbestos now falls into the hazardous building materials category. Some of the old buildings still have asbestos and asbestos abatement is a very serious task to handle.
Health Hazards Associated with Asbestos Usage
In fact, asbestos is not that harmful when they are in good condition. However, when the deterioration starts, the microfibers of asbestos becomes airborne and that is when the real problem starts. These fibers are hardly visible and they can easily enter the respiratory system though the air we inhale. Upon a vibration or a windy situation, the spread of the fibers can be increased. Lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma are among the common health issues you would come across after inhaling asbestos contaminated air for a long time.
Making things even worse, symptoms pertaining to these diseases may not even appear for many years. Moreover, recent studies show that the exposure to asbestos may trigger health issues such as breast, prostate, ovarian or laryngeal cancers.
Which Method Is Better? DIY Or Hiring a Professional Service?
For obvious reasons, you need to hire a professional for the asbestos abatement process. Handling hazardous building materials is not something you should do unless you have a lot of experience and professional qualifications. Trying to remove asbestos without proper methodology will cause damages to the materials and eventually you and your neighbors could be exposed to a more hazardous situation. A task like asbestos abatement demands special protective clothing, safety precautions and equipment. After all, you shouldn’t compromise the safety of your family over saving money.
Things to Consider When Hiring an Asbestos Contractor
Hiring the right kind of company is exceptionally important when you need to remove the asbestos. Here are some things to consider when finding the best out of the rest. Also, make sure that you don’t let anyone enter the area until the work is completed.
- Start by doing the comparisons. You should be wise enough to check with the customer reviews. Ask for quotations from the contractors and compare them. Your quotations should include information pertaining to the entire job including removal and disposal of the asbestos.
- If necessary, you can check with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) for the background of the respective company.
- Your contractor must have adequate insurance coverage. It should specifically cover the asbestos-related claims
- See if the contractor is willing to sign a written contract before the commencement. Without a contract, you cannot start the work and you shouldn’t rely on verbal contracts or estimates under any circumstances.
- See if the contractor is ready to offer copies of lab reports pertaining to the job
Be sure to communicate with the contractor and understand the abatement process. If you have any doubts, you have the right to question them and be 100% confident that they will complete the asbestos abatement process safely and follow the government regulatory procedures.
For more information on this and other safety topics contact:
Patrick Martens B.Sc. (Hons.); B.Ed.; M.A.
Health and Safety Manager
Alberta Fire and Flood