Asbestos exposure can lead to lung cancer and other serious health problems,
so identifying and containing this fiber is essential. If you’re
wondering if your property should undergo
asbestos testing in the Bay Area prior to renovation or demolition, then continue reading to learn which
buildings should be checked for this hazard.
Asbestos Use in Construction
Asbestos is a mineral containing silicon, hydrogen, oxygen, and metal ions.
Asbestos fibers are tiny and can only be seen with the naked eye when
there is a high concentration of them in the air. Asbestos has heat-resistant
qualities and for this reason, it was used in a huge range of industrial
products from the 1880s through the 1980s. In the 1970s, the U.S. federal
government placed a moratorium on the production of asbestos products
once it was found to cause health problems. Although there are several
categories of asbestos-containing products that remain banned, the complete
ban on asbestos was overturned in 1991.
New Buildings Should Be Tested
Because of the bans put in place on some asbestos-containing building materials,
many people are under the impression that newer buildings which were built
during the 1980s or later do not require asbestos testing before being
renovated or demolished. This is not the case because there is still a
wide range of products that contain asbestos which are not banned from
use in the United States. Additionally, many construction products are
imported from other countries that do not have strong regulations on asbestos.
For these reasons, even newer buildings should be tested for asbestos.
Old Buildings Should Be Tested
Due to the prolific use of asbestos up until recent decades, many people
realize that buildings which were constructed before the 1980s should
be tested for this mineral before the start of any demolition or renovation
work. If you are planning a remodel or new construction on an older building,
then it’s critical to work with a licensed asbestos professional
to help ensure that the project is completed safely and in compliance
with all regulations.