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- Since 2006 -

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Westlife Environmental LLC - (623)889-4843 9915 W. Bell Rd., #420, Sun City, AZ 85351 - © 2013

How do I find out if there’s asbestos in my building, and if my employees may

be at risk?

While asbestos can be hidden in a wide array of building materials the human body is not at risk unless the fibers can be inhaled or ingested.This means that unless asbestos is disturbed or in poor condition it does not normally pose a risk to human health.

Asbestos disturbance can come from renovations, maintenance, or disturbance of poor condition Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM). Even the air flow and/or vibrations from the building’s  HVAC system can cause a poor condition ACM  to become airborne, or degrade it so that it may become airborne.

It means that knowing where your asbestos is, what condition it is in, and your options for dealing with it are imperative for a building owner or lessee.

Since asbestos is NOT visible to the human eye, and because the variety of materials that asbestos has been (and still is) used in is so great, there is no way to look at any material and state whether that material contains asbestos or not.

Samples of suspect materials must be taken and sent to an accredited lab for analysis to know whether asbestos lies within a material or not. Without this sampling the EPA regulations state that a material is then to be ASSUMED to BE asbestos and treated as such - with ALL the cautions and handling required for asbestos.

Much of the vermiculite used for insulation in buildings is asbestos contaminated

The only way to actually know if your building contains asbestos, and the extent of risk involved if it does, is to have a whole building Asbestos Survey completed.

During an Asbestos Survey a thorough examination of the entire building is completed. Any and ALL suspect materials are located, sampled, analyzed and quantified for volume and condition. This gives you a complete view of the hazards that may or may not be present.

Additionally, if you have an Asbestos Management Plan written, you will also then have full documentation of what to do to maintain these ACM, and if the conditions change - how to deal with them,  and costs involved.

I can already hear the objections

 - “This HAS to be expensive!” -

But if you take into account the expense of an employee (or multiple employees) being affected by asbestos exposure; knowing your risks, having a plan in effect to deal with the inevitable changes in asbestos’ condition, and dealing with exposure events properly can be MUCH cheaper than the regulatory, legal and medical ramifications of NOT knowing your risk exposure.

Remember - EPA  says

any material NOT tested →MUST be ASSUMED to     contain asbestos

→until it is PROVEN not to     contain asbestos

So while inspecting and testing may be pricey - it may also eliminate materials of your building from containing asbestos - eliminating your costs and liabilities that ACM brings on to the employer and a building owner/lessee.

There is no reason that good condition ACM needs to be removed, It can be maintained indefinitely, if done safely and properly. And - tested, verifiable non-ACMs present no extraordinary risks, or require special considerations in handling, so they can be treated in a normal manner - without fear of regulatory or tort reprisal 10 → 20 → or even 30 years on down the line.

To manage your risks - you have to know what they are first. Westlife can perform that task for you.

Give us a call. We’ll let you know the information we need before we can give you a bid for these services.

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