Asbestos was commonly used in millions of commercial and residential buildings in the United States from the 1940s to the 1970s. But today, many buildings are currently undergoing asbestos abatement projects because the material was found to be harmful to human health.
While it is strongly recommended that property owners have asbestos removed, some people choose not to for a variety of reasons. If you are thinking about occupying a commercial building in Arlington Heights that has asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), you should exercise caution before moving into the space. In these situations, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that you are not putting yourself or others at risk of exposure to asbestos dust or other potentially harmful elements within the building’s structure. To that end, this asbestos removal contractor in Arlington Heights, Illinois is going to discuss some of the key things you should know below.
Dangers Posed by Asbestos
Asbestos is notoriously dangerous. It was not until the 1970s that we learned the dangers of asbestos exposure. Today, it is known that exposure to this toxin can cause mesothelioma (a rare type of cancer) and that its effects can develop decades after first contact.
Even worse, there is no cure for mesothelioma — the best treatment available is palliative care to control symptoms and relieve pain and other complications.
Aside from mesothelioma, asbestos is linked to lung cancer and asbestosis. It can also cause pleural effusion, pericarditis, gastrointestinal perforation, and pleural thickening. The only way to prevent its dangers is to have it fully removed by an asbestos removal contractor in Arlington Heights, Illinois, or by sealing off the area so that people cannot encounter it.
How to Safely Occupy a Building Containing ACMs?
- Know the law: Government agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and others have rules regarding asbestos management. Be sure you know what these rules are.
- Get your building tested: To establish the degree of risk, it is crucial to survey the building and identify the various types and locations of asbestos. To cite a simple example, standard non-friable ACM floor tiles present less risk than friable spray-on or friable pipe insulation, which are readily accessible to building occupants. If a friable ACM is present, baseline ambient air testing may also be in order, and an Operations and Maintenance (O&M) program should be prepared to outline the necessary steps. Testing and inspections should only be carried out by licensed asbestos removal contractors in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
- Equip and train your employees: If you find out that your commercial building has asbestos present, you should provide your employees with safety training — and in some cases, personal protective equipment, or “PPE”, such as masks, gloves, respirators, and protective clothing — to help keep them safe when going into the building. This typically applies to your cleaning and maintenance staff. Inform them about what parts of the building have been confirmed to have asbestos and encourage them not to enter into any of those parts until you permit them, as there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Also, be sure to have designated areas for storing their equipment outside so they can prevent taking contaminated items from the building with them.
- Hire a professional: Many commercial buildings in the United States contain some form of asbestos. Due to federal funding limitations, these structures are often vacated for years without necessary repairs or renovations. However, it is not safe for anyone to occupy the building until all the asbestos is removed from inside the structure. Building owners need to hire an asbestos removal contractor in Arlington Heights, Illinois who will take proper precautions when handling this hazardous material.
Occupying any commercial building with asbestos present can be hazardous to your health, especially if the asbestos is not handled by trained professionals. However, with the tips mentioned above, you can safely occupy a commercial building with asbestos and not expose yourself to the dangerous risks associated with the fibrous material.
Looking for an Asbestos Removal Contractor in Arlington Heights, Illinois?
Do you need to have your commercial building inspected for asbestos? Need to have it removed? In either case, Axis Response Group is the company to call. As the most trusted asbestos removal contractor in Arlington Heights, Illinois, we are experts when it comes to performing environmentally safe asbestos removal techniques. Contact us today at (773) 427-6811 to schedule an inspection.