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.