Asbestos is a dangerous material that can pose significant risks to human health, causing several diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. Asbestos was widely used in building construction between the 1950s to 1970s, but its use has been banned in most countries. However, many old buildings still contain asbestos, and it can be challenging to identify this hazardous material. Asbestos surveys are necessary to determine the presence and condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in older buildings. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of asbestos survey.
Identify the presence of asbestos:
The primary purpose of asbestos surveys is to identify whether a building contains ACMs. The presence of asbestos cannot be determined visually, and it needs to be confirmed through laboratory testing. The survey includes the collection of samples, which are then analyzed by accredited laboratories. The surveyor identifies and records the location, type, and condition of the ACMs. The information gathered helps in creating a management plan to control the risk of exposure.
Protect the health and safety of occupants:
Asbestos surveys are necessary to protect the health and safety of occupants. Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause diseases that often take years to develop. The risk of exposure is highest when ACMs are damaged or disturbed, releasing asbestos fibers into the air. Asbestos surveys help identify ACMs that are in poor condition or have the potential to be disturbed. The survey report contains recommendations on how to manage and control the risks, such as encapsulation, removal, or monitoring of the ACMs.
Compliance with regulations:
Asbestos surveys are required by law in most countries. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates that accredited asbestos surveys be conducted by licensed asbestos inspectors or management planners. The survey report should be updated periodically, especially when there are changes in the building’s occupancy or use. Compliance with regulations is necessary to avoid penalties and legal liabilities.
Building renovation or demolition:
Asbestos surveys are essential when buildings are undergoing renovations or demolition. Asbestos may be present in building materials such as insulation, ceiling tiles, and flooring. Disturbing these materials during renovation or demolition can release asbestos fibers into the air, posing a risk to both workers and occupants. Asbestos surveys help identify the location and condition of ACMs before any work starts. This information is crucial in preparing risk assessments and developing a safe work plan.
Peace of mind:
Asbestos surveys provide peace of mind for building owners and occupants. Knowing that ACMs are identified and managed reduces the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with asbestos exposure risks. Asbestos surveys help mitigate the risks of exposure and provide a safe environment for occupants. Building owners can also be assured that they are complying with legal and regulatory requirements.
Asbestos surveys are essential in identifying the presence of ACMs in old buildings and creating a management plan to control exposure risks. They protect the health and safety of occupants, ensure compliance with regulations, and provide peace of mind for building owners. Asbestos surveys should be conducted by licensed and accredited asbestos inspectors or management planners. Regular updates to the survey report are essential, especially when there are changes in building occupancy or use. By conducting asbestos surveys, we can create a safe environment for everyone.