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Though the serious detriments of asbestos have been known for some time, many buildings still contain asbestos, which was used in spray-applied flame retardant, thermal system insulation, and in other materials. Asbestos was sometimes "flocked" above false ceilings, inside technical ducts, and in other difficult-to-access areas. In residential homes, asbestos was often a component of a type of flocked acoustic ceiling called popcorn ceiling or “cottage cheese ceiling,” until the production of asbestos was banned in the U.S. in 1978. However, the ban allowed installers to continue using up remaining stocks of the product, so houses built as late as 1986 may still have asbestos in their ceilings. The only way to ensure that asbestos is not present is to remove a sample and have it properly tested by a competent group.

Depending on how and where asbestos was applied, it might not pose any risk to most users of the building. If the fibers cannot become dislodged, they theoretically cannot be inhaled, and the asbestos may pose minimal risk.

Asbestos can pose hazards to maintenance personnel who have to drill holes in walls for installation of cables or pipes.

Even if the workers are protected, maintenance operations that are disruptive may release fibers into the air, which can be inhaled by others. Where asbestos is present, individuals must follow stringent procedures.

If the asbestos removal occurs when users are present in the building, it is ideal to have as few people present as possible to decrease possibilities for exposure. The part of the building from which asbestos is being removed has to be sealed off in order to prevent contamination of the other areas. Methods of sealing off an area usually include the use of Polyethylene film, duct tape and negative air pressure machines that are fitted with HEPA filters. The purpose of this approach is to ensure that the contained area is pulling fresh air in and not allowing asbestos fibers to enter the surrounding environment.

Only a special vacuum cleaner that's designed for asbestos containment (class H) can be properly and safely used when cleaning up during the process. Ordinary vacuum cleaners cannot be used, even those fitted with an HEPA filter. A regular vacuum cleaner can cause asbestos fibers to scatter dangerously into the room.

If the building is closed to normal users, it may be necessary to seal it off from outside atmosphere so that no accessible air is contaminated.

Removal is not the only means of asbestos abatement. Asbestos and asbestos-containing materials may be "enclosed" or "encapsulated" to prevent building occupants from being exposed to the fibers.

Asbestos-containing buildings that must be torn down may require that their asbestos be safely removed before demolition can be performed. The asbestos removal may take longer and cost more than the actual demolition.

If you have concerns about asbestos, and keeping your buildings clear and safe, please contact Titan Restoration immediately at 888-267-1924.