Thursday, May 19, 2011

Be Wary of Asbestos

In general, asbestos refers to the naturally hydrated silicas which are found in rocks of two mineral groups:

-Serpentine, or white asbestos which accounts for 95% of the asbestos utilized in the US.
-Amphibole, which includes brown and blue asbestos.

Asbestos fibers are noncombustible, resistant to corrosion and degradation, have relatively high tensile strength, are chemically and thermally stable, and have low thermal and electrical conductivities. These properties make the fibers desirable for use in the manufacture of many industrial and commercial products. It has been estimated that asbestos fibers have been used in over 2,000 products.

Asbestos use in the United States has declined steadily over the past several years due to the ban that was imposed in 1975.

Renovations and demolitions of facilities that may have asbestos are required to submit a Notice of Demolition or Asbestos Renovation form. Contact Your Permit Solution for more information on obtaining the necessary permits.

Impacts of Asbestos

Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and has been known to cause lung cancer, mesothelioma (a rare form of chest and abdominal cancer) and asbestosis which is an irreversible, non-cancerous respiratory disease characterized by scarring of lung tissue.

The chances of contracting these diseased is increased significantly in smokers. To date there is no scientific evidence that asbestos is harmful when in contact with human skin.

The presence of asbestos in a building does not necessarily mean that the health of its occupants is endangered. Exposure is unlikely as long as the Asbestos-Containing Material (ACM) remains intact and undisturbed. Potential exposure to asbestos occurs when building maintenance, repairs, renovations or other activities disturb or damage the ACM, causing a release of asbestos fibers.

If you've got construction coming up and have concerns about asbestos in your building, contact Your Permit Solution today for help!

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