Before the dangers of asbestos were fully understood, it was an attractive building material because it offered high fiber strength as well as fire-resistant properties. However, we now understand the respiratory dangers of asbestos. If a person is exposed to airborne asbestos fibers, he or she may develop serious lung problems, including lung cancer. This is why demolition contractors and others involved in the building trade must be extremely careful when taking down buildings that contain asbestos.
Common locations of asbestos in buildings include:
- Floor and ceiling tiles.
- Roofing shingles.
- Textured coating on walls and ceilings.
- Wall paneling, especially around windows.
- In and around fuse boxes.
- Heating cupboards around boilers.
- Cavities inside walls and floors.
Asbestos and Demolition Contractors
Because asbestos is such a hazardous material, several national agencies have established safety requirements for working with it. For instance, building owners and demolition contractors must notify regional EPA offices before demolishing or renovating buildings that contain high levels of asbestos, according to the asbestos National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). EPA inspectors carefully examine job sites, analyzing demolition methods as well as physical onsite evidence of asbestos abatement compliance.
Choosing a Contractor according to Asbestos Abatement Demolition Methods
Beyond asking basic questions about whether your demolition contractors meet the asbestos abatement requirements described above, you can look for exceptional training programs to find the best industrial demolition partners. Look for companies that consistently train employees on safe demolition methods. The best demolition contractors are experts at working with different kinds of hazards, and they prepare their workers for this aspect of industrial demolition.
Here at Elder Demolition, we go above and beyond basic EPA asbestos abatement requirements by consistently educating our employees beyond OSHA standards.
[Photo by: Oregon DOT, via CC License]