Dangers of Asbestos in Commercial Areas and What to Do
Glendale, Arizona, is home to several commercial and industrial buildings that have been around for decades. Moreover, due to rapid commercialization, hundreds of new commercial buildings are under development at different sites. While there’s nothing wrong with infrastructural development, it should never be at the expense of human health. Many commercial buildings or job sites in Glendale contain asbestos. This mineral has been used for nearly a century in commercial settings due to its properties, including being non-flammable, heat resistant, and stronger than steel. The only problem is that it is extremely toxic, and the CDC and EPA have identified it as a serious health hazard.
Therefore, in this post, we’ll share the dangers of asbestos in commercial areas and what property owners can do to check for, remove, and dispose of this toxic material from their properties.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate material that has been used in commercial and industrial areas for nearly a century. It comprises six minerals – amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, chrysotile, and actinolite – that are extremely durable and resistant to most fire and chemical reactions, which is why they were used in many commercial buildings, including sky scrappers and industrial warehouses. However, asbestos is a highly toxic material and linked to several respiratory conditions. Therefore, its use is restricted in the US but not fully banned. There are still several asbestos-containing products in the market, such as adhesives, boilers, ceiling tiles, insulation, flooring, and pipes. Asbestos is now officially recognized as a significant health hazard by the EPA and CDC, especially in older buildings made using it before its use was deemed illegal in the construction and restoration industry.
Health Risks of Asbestos in Commercial Areas
Inhaling asbestos can cause tiny asbestos particles to get stuck in the lungs. Therefore, exposure to asbestos-containing materials and products can lead to the following health problems, according to the CDC:
Asbestosis is a condition in which breathing asbestos fibers causes scarring in the lungs, stopping oxygen and carbon dioxide from passing in and out, thus, making it difficult to breathe. However, this usually happens to people who have been exposed to asbestos for a long time without even knowing it, such as owners or tenants in commercial buildings built in the 80s or 90s.
2. Pleural Disease
This non-cancerous lung condition forces the membrane surrounding the lungs and chest cavity (pleura) to thicken throughout, forcing the fluid to build up around the lungs. Not everyone will have respiratory problems. However, some may have less efficient lung function, affecting them during physical activities, such as running, jogging, climbing stairs, etc.
3. Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is a malignant tumor that disrupts airflow in the lungs by blocking the passages as it grows. Even though it doesn’t rank as high as smoking tobacco as the major cause, asbestos exposure can greatly increase the chance of developing lung cancer, especially for smokers.
This rare type of cancer affects the membrane that covers the chest cavity and lungs, the abdominal cavity, and other organs, forcing them to grow abnormally. However, this is slow-growing cancer and will not show any signs until 30-40 years following the exposure.
How to Check for Asbestos
Checking for asbestos on a commercial property is not a DIY job as it is dangerous and requires a wealth of knowledge, experience, and equipment to do it properly. Tampering with asbestos-containing material can cause its fibers to become airborne, which is something you must prevent at all costs. Therefore, you need to hire a commercial service in Glendale that deals that specialize in asbestos removal and disposal. They will arrive on your property to perform a complete asbestos audit while following CDC and EPA guidelines. The tests are done using a form of transmission electron microscopy that determines the presence of asbestos and the type you’re dealing with.
How to Remove and Dispose of Asbestos in Commercial Areas
Asbestos can be removed manually or mechanically following a series of risk assessment activities to determine the right approach. When you hire a professional asbestos removal company in Glendale, they will bring specialized equipment, such as HEPA vacuum, waste bags, dust control, and an asbestos removal kit containing adhesives and sprays, etc. Moreover, they’ll also be wearing specialized PPE and respirators throughout the removal and disposal process. Once they have completed the removal, the next step is containment. This is done using specialized, air-sealed containers that prevent the contents from being exposed throughout the transport. Once the waste material is loaded, the sub-contractor will take the asbestos to a licensed waste facility and dispose of it in a landfill. This isn’t the end of the lifecycle from an environmental perspective, as asbestos can now be transformed into non-toxic materials in a sodium hydroxide solution at high temperatures.
Expert Commercial Restoration Services – 911 Restoration of Glendale
At 911 Restoration of Glendale, we aim to help educate our clients and readers about different types of real estate hazards so they can take the proper measures for damage prevention or repairs. Asbestos is a serious problem and requires professional intervention for removal and disposal. Our team of commercial restoration experts has the expertise and equipment to safely handle asbestos following EPA and CDC regulations and prevent its fibers from becoming airborne and causing health problems.
Feel free to call us for more information regarding our Commercial restoration services and hire the best restoration professionals in town to take care of your property.