Asbestos is the name of a group of minerals naturally occurring in the environment as bundles of fibers that can be separated into thin, durable cords. These fibers are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals and do not conduct electricity. Because of these qualities, asbestos fibers have been used in a large range of manufactured goods, such as roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper, cement products, and textiles.
People can be exposed to asbestos in their workplace, communities, or homes, if products containing asbestos become unhinged;causing tiny asbestos fibers to be released into the air. Exposure to airborne asbestos may result in potential health risk if the air a person is breathing contains asbestos fibers. Exposure to asbestos increases the risk of developing lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma, and that risk made worse from smoking. Prolonged exposure can increase the amount of fibers that remain in the lung. Symptoms may take several years to develop following exposure. If you are concerned about possible exposure, consult a physician who specializes in lung diseases (pulmonologist).
A material is considered an asbestos material if at least one sample from the homogeneous area is confirmed to contain greater than one percent asbestos (>1.0%) under laboratory analysis. In addition, OSHA’s construction standard considers all thermal systems insulation and surfacing materials in a facility constructed prior to 1985 to be presumed asbestos containing material and all flooring to be presumed asbestos containing material unless it is demonstrated through laboratory analysis to contain 1.0% asbestos or less. The National Emissions Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants further classifies ACM as regulated (RACM), category I non-friable ACM or category II non-friable ACM.
Asbestos is commonly found in structures including thermal system insulation, spray-on fireproofing, and acoustical ceiling tiles, vinyl floor tiles, adhesives, and roofing materials in structures constructed prior to 1985. If you are renovating or demolishing a building that was constructed prior to 1985, please contact us for a free quote for an asbestos survey. New York City Department of Buildings will also need it.
ACP-5 and ACP-7 Asbestos Inspections