ASBESTOS INSPECTIONS LOS ANGELES, CA
Asbestos is a known carcinogen. It is found in most buildings built before 1980 and is still used today in several products frequently used in construction. In response, Federal, State and local agencies have enacted regulations to protect the health and safety of building employees, occupants and contractors
Our laboratory together with our staff of environmental professionals can provide you with a wide range of services along with unmatched quality. Because all of our PLM analyses are conducted in our in-house laboratory, we are able to guarantee our clients fast and efficient results at competitive prices.
Asbestos in The Home
- Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.
- Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.
- Attic and wall insulation produced using vermiculite ore, particularly ore that originated from a Libby, Montana mine, may contain asbestos fibers. Vermiculite was mined in Libby, Montana between 1923 and 1990. Prior to its close in 1990, much of the world’s supply of vermiculite came from the Libby mine. This mine had a natural deposit of asbestos which resulted in the vermiculite being contaminated with asbestos. (See EPA’s 2003 brochure on Current Best Practices for Vermiculite Attic Insulation).
- Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was banned in 1977.
- Artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces may contain asbestos.
- Older products such as stove-top pads may have some asbestos compounds.
- Walls and floors around woodburning stoves may be protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets.
- Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.
- Hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.
- Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.
Home Asbestos Testing Inspection and Removal – A Guide
Are you worried you have asbestos in your home? An asbestos testing kit or home asbestos inspection will clear up any doubts you may have, and will provide you with clarity on what to do next.
Asbestos is a highly toxic material when disturbed through abrasion or movement, and can release invisible pollutants in the air that directly contribute to cancers, lung conditions, and exacerbate other health problems.
Asbestos was widely used throughout the construction industry until the 1980s, so getting an asbestos testing kit is not just a nice to do but a need to do for many homeowners, especially those undertaking home improvement works. Asbestos can be found in ceiling tiles, cement, insulation, walls and pipes and can be very toxic if disrupted.
This article will cover all aspects of how to identify asbestos in your home, how to buy asbestos testing kits, how asbestos inspections work, the cost of asbestos testing and the steps to asbestos removal.
To begin, let’s cover the basics.
What is Asbestos
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral from the earth that has a fibrous appearance, comprised of thin strands of crystals. It is often mixed in with other materials, hence it is hard to spot. It is the asbestos crystals that release microscopic “fibrils” into the air when disturbed, and this is when it becomes toxic, contributing to many health problems, including asbestosis.
Due to its natural availability, humans have used asbestos since the stone age to strengthen pots and utensils. However, it wasn’t until the industrial-scale mining of asbestos at the start of the 20th century when its toxicity slowly became apparent. Asbestos use has been widespread in modern homes up to the 1980s, so it is a concern for all homeowners.
Asbestos use is banned in most developed nations but escaped an American ban due to cost projections and questions over the safety of alternative materials, so it is still used in cement asbestos pipes, for example. Therefore, there is an even greater need for American homeowners to test their homes for asbestos.
Why Was Asbestos Used?
Contractors began using asbestos because it helps bulk out and strengthen materials and works as a highly efficient electrical insulator. It is also heat resistant, making it ideal for fire-proofing. This is why asbestos can be found in so many buildings, commercial properties, and thousands of homes.
Today, most asbestos work revolves around asbestos inspections, asbestos testing and asbestos removal. The removal of any asbestos is normally performed by a specialized service provider who wears coveralls to avoid any airborne toxic contamination and use water pumps to treat the material as it is broken down and removed to minimize dust.
Is There Asbestos in My Home?
It is possible there is asbestos in your home if it is built before 1980. There are two ways to establish if there is asbestos in your home, these are:
- Purchasing an asbestos home testing kit
- Getting an asbestos home inspection audit
Either of these approaches will help inform you of the steps to take if asbestos is found in your home or property. Both approaches involve professional assessment by licensed specialists to identify asbestos materials and risks. Remember, microscopic asbestos fibers cannot be seen or felt and as asbestos is so versatile, it can be found in many guises, including crumbly insulating material around pipes or popcorn ceilings (friable asbestos material), in solid concrete or hard ceiling tiles (non-friable asbestos materials) or even in a more fluffy and fibrous form, used as insulation in walls and attic spaces.
If you have any concern that your home has asbestos materials as part of its construction, always seek professional guidance.
Let’s look at the details of these two approaches:
DIY Asbestos Testing Kit
A DIY asbestos home testing kit is a reactive response to asbestos. This means it is required after a suspicion that asbestos has been disturbed. It is strongly recommended a homeowner should not disturb asbestos out of curiosity as this will release airborne contaminants.
An asbestos home testing kit works by the homeowner or on-site construction worker collecting dust and/or material samples and posting them to a licensed asbestos laboratory in pre-approved packaging that comes with the kit. The asbestos laboratory will then use a form of transmission electron microscopy to discover any asbestos fibers that are within the sample.
If you are wondering “how much does asbestos testing cost?” testing kits are affordable and very easy to come by. They are readily sold throughout the internet. Here are three different versions of a standard testing kit as an example:
This simple test allows for 1 sample of suspected asbestos material to be checked by a lab, and for a $20 fee, a secondary sample can be checked. All results will be returned within 5 business days. Kits like these come with strict instructions and will often recommend soaking samples before removing them to reduce airborne asbestos contaminants.
The price can rise on testing mainly due to the number of samples submitted. Here is the same kit for 10 samples. There is an economy of scale using these kits, as each sample is $24 cost, whereas the 1 sample was $35. A higher number of testing may be required for older properties that are being renovated and may have both friable and non-friable asbestos in the property.
Another factor that pushes up the price is the turnaround time from the laboratory. This example of the testing kit is another 10-sample kit, with a single business day turnaround, meaning the cost is $45 per sample. With some foresight, costly testing should be avoidable.
An asbestos inspection is a proactive response to asbestos concerns, carried out by an environmentalist. This is a specialist individual or team who should perform inspections according to EPA guidelines and are qualified to perform full Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) and Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) surveys.
They will come to your home and test for asbestos contamination and asbestos materials in the property’s construction. They will also be able to test for other contaminants such as mold, lead, chemicals and so forth if required. What they check for will be dependent upon what you, as the homeowner, have requested, as well as what they deem is necessary.
They will look for visible and nonvisible contaminants, and assess the extent of the problem. Part of an environmentalist’s role will be to decide future risk, therefore even presently safe and undisturbed asbestos may need to be removed, or perhaps encapsulated with a sealant.
The asbestos inspector will make an unbiased recommendation on how to proceed. Most asbestos inspections will not recommend home asbestos removal services in your area, as this will be a conflict of interest. However, there will be a list of licensed specialists they can point homeowners towards.
Cost of Asbestos Inspection and Assessment Near Me
Inspections can vary based on the amount of work required, but most inspections to homes are routine, and won’t require anything out of the ordinary. A quick internet search should provide a number of environmental services that can inspect properties, but do ensure they are licensed to deal with asbestos inspections, rather than general checks for mold and other contaminants. Prices for inspection and asbestos audits start at around $100. This can go up depending on the work involved.
It is recommended that all asbestos removal is carried out by a licensed specialist. These are known as ‘asbestos abatement professionals. This is the safest route. However, legally, some jurisdictions allow US homeowners to remove asbestos material on their own. It is not recommended, but it is possible.
Each scenario is different and therefore, an assessment should be made on a case by case basis. If you are a homeowner in a position to legally remove asbestos, you must follow professional advice, and always wear a respirator and disposable coveralls throughout the work. Please consult the regulations in your state before undertaking any removal work.
Asbestos testing, inspections and removal are all necessary to ensure you and your family stay safe. Commercial businesses have a legal obligation to check their asbestos levels, homeowners do not. A simple home asbestos test or home asbestos inspection can be the first step to getting expert advice on the process. For any larger, general concerns, contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who will have the final word on handling asbestos-related scenarios and laws relating to asbestos removal.
Where does Asbestos come from?
Asbestos comes from all over the world, but the main exporters are Kazakhstan, Russia, and China. North America mined the toxic mineral. Asbestos found as deposits or contaminants in other minerals such as talc and vermiculite. In California, the Coalinga deposit contains 50% asbestos or more.
Find asbestos in your home:
Asbestos can either be bound loosely or tightly in the homes that can found in:
- Weatherboards and exterior fiber cement cladding
- Artificial brick cladding
- Flexible boards of building
- Linings of bathroom
- Underlying Cement tile
- Corrugated cement roofing
- Flue pipes
- Architectural pipes of cement
- Textured paint
- Vinyl flooring tiles or mastic (glue)
Outside the homes, it could also be present in:
- Electrical meter boards backing
- Water pipes that are hot and tanks insulation
- Roofing and water proofing materials
Types of Asbestos:
Six types of Asbestos are divided into two categories:-
- Amphibole asbestos:
These fibers are straight and have jagged shape and also have further five types that are the following:-
- Serpentine Asbestos:
These fibers are very curly and have only one kind that is given below:
Within the serpentine rock, it usually found as veins.
How many samples are needed for analysis?
Sampling is required when the inspector has doubts that the materials are the same as ACM, and they can also be treated as ACM.
For the suspected materials the collected samples should be minimum of 3, and then analyzed at a laboratory. Having uniform properties like the same age, the same color, and also the texture is called the homogenous materials.
Thermal system insulation (TSI):
It includes materials like boiler, ductwork, and pipe insulation. It also includes furnace gaskets and vermiculite.
- There should be 3 samples from each homogenous material are required.
- There should be one sample; at least that should be less than 6 square feet from patched TSI is required.
It includes fireproofing in which spray is applied, plasters that are troweled, and textures of ceilings (popcorn).
- It includes 3 samples from homogenous materials less than a thousand square feet.
- It includes 5 samples from homogenous materials greater than thousand square feet but less than five thousand square feet.
- It includes 7 samples from homogenous materials greater than five thousand square feet.
It includes TSI surfacing materials, for example, tiles of floor and ceilings as well as linoleum.
- It includes enough number of samples from each homogenous material and also analyzed for determining whether the material can be ACM or not.
The samples from homogenous materials do not go for analysis that is considered as non-asbestos and containing materials like fiberglass and rubber.
Assessment can be done using the following categories that are equivalent:
- No damage to the materials
- Significantly damaged of friable materials
- Significantly damaged other materials
- Material containing asbestos with potential for destruction
- Any remaining friable suspect asbestos-containing material.
Samples go for analysis in the laboratory by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) through the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP)
A laboratory has successfully participated in the analysis program containing asbestos in the bulk of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).
A licensed asbestos technician, assessor or any competent person should do a survey. A competent person can be:
- Experienced in taking samples of asbestos
- Complete knowledge and experience in identifying suspect materials with asbestos
- Able to determine the risks and all the actions that should be taken
- Aware of building and construction methods so he can identify where the asbestos is present.
Professionals can be:
- Occupational hygienists with experience about asbestos
- Asbestos assessors who are licensed
- A person who has taken a training course in asbestos identification.
Results of the survey:
A laboratory report contains the following:
- The result of sample analysis
- The original name and proper address of the laboratory which has performed the analysis
- The date in which analyses were performed.
- A good name and signature of the persons by whom analysis has performed.
Diseases caused by asbestos:
The diseases can be the following:
- Lung damage
Signs and symptoms can vary from person to person and include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent dry cough
- Loss of appetite
- Nail deformities
- Sudden weight loss
- Toes and tips of finger become wider and more rounder than normal
- Exposure to high levels of dust and asbestos
- Airborne fibers can be stuck within your alveoli, so you feel difficulty in breathing
- These fibers of asbestos can irritate your lungs and tissues and can cause your lungs to become the stuff
- Long tissues become more scarred, so they cannot contract and expand properly.
People who are at the risk of asbestosis include:
- Boiler operators
- Miners of asbestos
- Construction workers at buildings
- Aircraft and auto mechanics
- Railroad workers
- Refinery workers
- Mill workers
- Shipyard workers
- The workers in older buildings remove asbestos insulation around steam pipes.
The risk of asbestos depends on the amount and duration when asbestos is exposed. If the exposure will be greater than the risk will also be greater.
Asbestosis cannot be completely cured but can reduce and control symptoms.
Prescription inhalers help to loosen the congestion in your lungs.
If you have severe difficulty problems, then supplemental oxygen can be used either from a mask, or you use a tube that can fit inside your nose.
Try to avoid exposure to asbestos and quit smoking; it can prevent the disease from getting worse.
Lung transplant is the last stage option.
Report asbestos problems:
You can also report asbestos problems by calling SCAQMD (South Coast Air Quality Management and District at 800-CUT-SMOG, or you can file a complaint online.
For concerns of asbestos in a work environment, you can also contact to California Division of Occupational Safety and Health have known as Cal/OSHA.
Asbestos abatement in Los Angeles:
The asbestos abatement in Los Angeles can be a very safe, quick, and professional task.
Our top priority should be the quality and security of the service. For implementing the safety protocols, we have to take further one step, and we have to avoid the health-related complications in the future with an accurate and perfect asbestos abatement process.
Asbestos abatement process:
The process has the following steps:-
First, seal the place where material-containing asbestos is juts removed.
Then use the vacuums and air filters of HEPA according to the specific procedure for the recently removed materials.
At last, according to per state and the federal regulations of asbestos disposal, just dispose of the materials.
Significance of accurate asbestos disposal:
For ensuring security in the future, one important key is asbestos disposal. The materials containing the asbestos should be kept intact throughout all the removal processes. It is not possible to remove it without any harm or damage. During the asbestos removal in Los Angeles, you should give proper care to create as minimum dust as possible so they can easily be disposed of. For proper disposal, you should try that minimal disturbance is created with the equipment. So, in result, the quality of air should be clean and healthy both intside and outside of the work.
Try to avoid that dust cannot get into the air you should soak all the materials in water so a convenient removal can occur easily. In the thick bags of hazardous waste, all these materials are double bagged, which is impervious to asbestos particles. It will keep the workplace safe, neat, and clean.
Asbestos abatement in Los Angeles:
Most of the time, people have no idea that they have been exposed to damaging material until they can experience some painful symptoms. If you have any idea of asbestos presence in-home or workplace, then you can contact as early as possible to Nielsen Environmental to prevent from any further harmful or drastic effects. In this way, you and your family become safe from the exposure of asbestos.
Classes for asbestos abatement and management:
Class 1 of operation includes the removal of the duct and furnace is done for the thermal system.
Class 2 includes removing the asbestos from the materials of construction, such as the floor, roof, and sheet materials.
Class 3 includes the task of repairing buildings and other sites. It also has many regulations.
Class 4 includes the work that is done by the contractor employees who deal with the disturbing asbestos, for example, the custodial and maintenance work.
The workers should wear safety equipment while they are dealing with the damaged asbestos.
Quality environmental for Asbestos removal:
These include the companies of California that involve the removal of asbestos in Los Angeles. They are committed to providing the best possible services by adopting their procedures.
A Trusted Los Angeles Asbestos Abatement Service:
If you want to get rid of this disastrous and harmful material, then you should immediately contact a trusted Los Angeles Asbestos Abatement team. The best time is present to save for your upcoming future. The fiber can be extremely dangerous, so you cannot put your and your loved one’s lives at risk.