Finding Asbestos in Your Building: Should I Remove it?
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news lately, then you’ve heard about the Scranton School District’s asbestos problems. According to recent news reports, a class action lawsuit has been filed after the district revealed that both asbestos and lead exist in almost every building in the district. Four school buildings have been closed because of contamination and asbestos was documented as early as 1988.
As Scranton tries to figure out its next steps, it raises an important question — is it safe to remove asbestos from a building? Or is it actually more dangerous to try and clean it up?
Fortunately, as asbestos removal experts, we have that answer.
The Rise and Fall of Asbestos: A Short History
These days, whenever someone mentions the word “asbestos,” thoughts of lawsuits, large-sounding medical terms, and cancer may be the first thing that comes to mind. But back in the day, asbestos was used for everything. Thanks to its resistance to chemicals, heat, water, and electricity, it was an important part of the building construction across the world. Asbestos could be found in insulation, roofing and flooring materials, fire-retardant coating, even cement! With an increase in industrialization came the increase of need — by 1977, almost 4.8 million metric tons were being produced per year by 25 countries!
Unfortunately, no one knew about the damage asbestos can cause to the human body. As the material gets older, it begins to deteriorate, causing it to crumble and release fibers in the air. When those fibers are inhaled or ingested, the body is unable to break them down and they get stuck in body or lung tissue. Since the carcinogenic material cannot be broken down, it can cause several life-threatening diseases, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis (scarring of the lungs), and lung cancer.
As more and more people became ill, the use of asbestos began to lessen. Nowadays, the material has been banned in several countries across the globe.
Asbestos Removal in Buildings
As we learn more and more about the deadly side effects of asbestos exposure, many organizations have taken steps to remove the material from buildings. But couldn’t removing the asbestos cause more damage than just keeping it in the building?
The answer to this question is dependent on the state of the asbestos. Asbestos does not become dangerous until it begins to disintegrate, causing life-threatening dust and fibers. Even the slightest poke can release fibers into the air. However, if no one disturbs or damages the decaying material, it does not pose a threat.
But that doesn’t mean you should keep asbestos in the building. The likelihood of something damaging the material is pretty high. But the one thing you should not do is try to remove asbestos on your own. You need a highly skilled expert, who has the proper equipment and knowledge to safely remove from your building.
Don’t ignore the problem. Solve it, with WTR Environmental Services.
How WTR Environmental Can Help
At WTR Environmental, we care about the environment and the health of our neighbors here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. That’s why we have dedicated our time to removing asbestos from the older buildings surrounding the Scranton area. If you have found asbestos in your home or your building, don’t wait. Contact us today at (570) 704-7602.