Monday, June 3, 2013

Improper Renovations Involving Asbestos Expose Local Population

Our office is located in the historic downtown district of San Pedro, California and is home to some very beautiful and very old architecture. It was exciting a few days ago to notice new activity taking place a few doors down at the historic, art-deco style building that has been vacant for the past many years. Walking by to sneak a peek my curiosity ended when a cloud of dust came billowing out of the door. My trepidation increased as I saw workers without any respiratory protection carrying out loads of debris and my only thought was – asbestos!

With all of the homes and buildings constructed from the 1940s through the 1970s when usage of asbestos was at its peak, renovation and remodeling work frequently involves exposures to asbestos. However, given the cost of hiring professional asbestos abatement contractors, far too many property and homeowners seek to cut corners and have demolition work involving asbestos removal performed by cheap, unskilled laborers. Having the work done in this manner puts not only the laborers at great risk, but neighbors and passerbyers  are also exposed to the dust.

Asbestos waste is toxic waste and needs to be treated as such. When asbestos is removed and handled improperly you can bet it isn’t being disposed of safely. Dumping asbestos at the local landfill just further spreads the contamination. Asbestos must be disposed of in a landfill that is licensed and equipped to handle asbestos waste.

California Rule 902 requires that, prior to any demolition or renovation work, an inspection performed by a certified asbestos toxics and waste management professional must be completed. If asbestos is found to be present, asbestos control and abatement procedures must be followed and removal must be performed by trained and accredited asbestos professionals. These laws are in place to prevent asbestos from contaminating the environment and to protect those who could come in contact with the deadly mineral.

If you suspect asbestos is being mishandled you should contact the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Asbestos Hotline: (800) 368-5888 to file a confidential complaint, or visit the EPA’s website.

For information on safe handling practices for asbestos, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Improper renovations involving asbestos is absolutely terrible. This is really harmful to all living things especially us people. Contractors must always see to it that in every project that they will be handling with regards to asbestos removal, proper handling and disposal is always a priority.