There is a laundry list of compliance and regulations commercial building owners must abide by to protect the air quality in their buildings. Proper ventilation with frequent HVAC maintenance is fundamental to this, as is protecting air quality from toxic material and chemicals. This includes the once-popular construction material, asbestos.When it Comes to Asbestos Blog Post

Asbestos was traditionally used in everything from ceiling tiles to pipe insulation to siding. Considered an extremely versatile ‘wonder-material,’ virtually impervious to air and great for deadening sound, asbestos was primarily used to insulate in varied capacities. It also helped asbestos is extremely flame retardant. Builders so widely used asbestos in construction until as late as the 1990’s across the United States, abating it from buildings has given rise to an entirely new industry.

When undisturbed, material containing asbestos fibers can pose no health risk and remain dormant for decades. It’s when building additions are made or even something as simple as a ceiling tile is cracked is asbestos considered a serious threat. When breathed in, the substance can lead to fatal lung problems such as lung cancer and mesothelioma, a cancer to the lung membrane. Asbestos can also thicken this membrane and abnormal fluid collections on the chest wall.

Making sure your building is free of asbestos, or is abated of if it ever was present, is imperative prior to any construction disturbance. This is crucial to not only protecting the healthy air quality in your building, but to protecting your property as well. The Environmental Protection Agency can levy fines and will shut your operation down until you are compliant with clean air regulation.

If you own or are buying a property you are positioning to renovate of make additions to, enlisting services for an asbestos assessment is your first step. In the event you do need abatement, it is not cheap. But this can not only save you millions is fines from the EPA, it could save your tenants and surrounding neighbors from years of illness, possibly terminal.

 

Brett Reinhardt

October 22, 2014

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