Hazardous materials like asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are most often uncovered (and cause exposure) during actions like renovations and demolitions. Here at Fiber Control, we’ve already discussed these types of issues for renovation (see our blogs How to Find Hazardous Materials Before Renovating and Finding Hazardous Building Materials While Renovating for details on those). Today we’re looking at the three major parts of demolishing a building, which brings similar but more drastic measures.
Part One: Get the Building Inspected
If a building is going to be demolished (or will be subjected to a controlled burn), it will first need to be inspected for hazardous materials. For asbestos, that means an inspector with AHERA (Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act) accreditation. While there are a few exceptions to this inspection, you should consult your State or EPA coordinator for NESHAP (National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants) to be certain. Handy link for contacts by state, here.
Part Two: Meeting Thresholds
Once an inspection occurs, the inspector should be able to tell you about the amount of ACM in your building. If the ACM is above a certain threshold (usually above 35 cubic feet of ACM that could become friable during demolition, though local regulations may reduce the threshold), it must be removed before demolition.
Part Three: Disposal Before Demolition
If asbestos-containing materials exceed this threshold, it’s time for removal. Asbestos removal must be done in a contained way known as asbestos abatement, where the area is contained to avoid asbestos fibers contaminating the building during removal, and the debris itself is safely contained and disposed of properly.
Additional: Know About Other Hazards
In addition to the hazard of asbestos during a demolition, don’t forget about other hazardous materials as outlined in the two blogs at the top of this article. Mold spores, lead dust, and other hazardous materials can pose a threat to contractors, homeowners, and neighbors, let alone those who handle the contaminated waste afterward.
If your search for asbestos-containing materials throws up red flags, it’s time to call in asbestos demolition and removal specialists. Companies like Fiber Control, Inc. specialize in the procedures for dealing with asbestos and other hazardous materials. If you’re in Massachusetts or New Hampshire and need asbestos inspection and removal, we can help. Contact us today.