What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring, fibrous mineral that was used as a building material between the 1950s and 1980s. Mined in countries such as Russia, Brazil, South Africa and China, asbestos fibers were woven into fabrics or mixed in cement and used all around the world. Chrysotile, the fibrous form of the mineral serpentine, is the best-known type and accounts for about 95 percent of all asbestos in commercial use.
Why Was Asbestos Used in Commercial Buildings?
The asbestos fibers provided strength without undue weight, making it ideal for commercial structures such as schools, churches, and large industrial facilities. The insulating and fire resistant properties of asbestos contributed to the popularity of asbestos in commercial building materials.
What are the Hazards of Asbestos?
Undisturbed asbestos poses a negligible threat, however, when the asbestos is disturbed, such as during a commercial property renovation, the fiber particles become airborne. If inhaled, the particles cause lung irritation and are linked to pulmonary disease. Asbestos has been identified as a human carcinogen and the cause of mesothelioma disease for those who were exposed. You can learn more about exposure effects at asbestos.com.
Where is Asbestos Found in Commercial Structures?
Asbestos can be found in structures built prior to 1980. The most common building materials that contain asbestos fibers are:
Floor tiles and adhesives
Roofing shingles, flashing, and adhesives
Insulation (around boilers, ducts, pipes, sheeting, fireplaces)
Cements including pipe cement, and joint compound
What Are the Risks from Asbestos in Commercial Building?
When the asbestos-containing building materials are undisturbed, the risk is negligible. However, when the asbestos is moved during a renovation, maintenance, or repair project, asbestos poses health threats to
Occupants including staff and public visitors
Plumbing and HVAC contractors
Roofing and Siding contractors
Remodeling and construction contractors
What If You Suspect Asbestos in a Commercial Building?
It is often impossible to tell whether asbestos is embedded in a material, as the fibers are too small to be observed with the naked eye. therefore, thorough testing is required to ensure your building is asbestos-free.
Compleat Environmental Services is federally licensed and certified for asbestos abatement and will perform an asbestos inspection for your project and provide a detailed estimate for the asbestos removal in your facility. Before your project begins, Compleat Environmental will submit the required asbestos abatement notification to the PA Department of Environmental Protection Agency as required. The project will include setting up the proper containment and creating a negative airspace in the abatement area. Our licensed professionals will use appropriate safety gear, proper equipment and protect your staff, customers, and occupants during the abatement process as mandated. When the project is completed, we transport and discard asbestos waste and debris in an environmentally responsible manner according to laws and regulations.