Asbestos has a lasting legacy in the United States, from health conditions that plague contractors, miners, and factory workers, to asbestos hazards in our homes, offices, and schools. Fear of asbestos comes from the fear of the health conditions it poses, and the difficulty of detecting the hazard. When it comes to diagnosing your risk of asbestos exposure, you’ve got two major sources: watching out for “sentinel diseases” that commonly are linked to asbestos or performing an inspection of suspect buildings for asbestos. [Read more…] about Is There Testing for Asbestos Exposure?
It’s a common misconception that in the United States, asbestos use is banned. While there is a patchwork quilt of legislation in place in federal and state levels, there are no single rules or acts that have been issued by Congress or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that completely bans asbestos and Asbestos-Containing Material (ACM). The closest we had was the rule issued by the EPA in July of 1989 called the Asbestos Ban and Phase-Out-Rule (ABPR), which was met with a quick demise less than two years later. In this article, we’ll take a look at why. [Read more…] about The Rise and Fall of Banning Asbestos: Repeal of the ABPR
If you’ve read our blogs on asbestos before, you’ve probably seen us refer to it by its moniker: the miracle mineral. While this phrase was mostly good marketing for a bad product, asbestos did have some amazing qualities. In our blog, Is Asbestos Man-Made or Naturally Occurring?, we went over the particular nature of asbestos, namely its long silica fibers. In the heyday of asbestos, these fibers were spun just like cotton to produce asbestos thread or used to strengthen cotton or other textiles. This legacy has produced hazardous building materials, textiles, and clothing that need to be identified and disposed of. [Read more…] about Identifying Asbestos Textiles and Asbestos Fabrics
In a recent blog, Avoiding Asbestos Hazards When Demolishing a Building, we covered the risks of asbestos fiber exposure during a planned demolition. But what about the risks of unplanned destruction? In this article, we’ll look at the risks of having property that has asbestos-containing materials – even those that are considered “safely” contained – during an incident that results in damage or destruction of the property, using both the hypothetical and the tragically real. [Read more…] about The Danger of Asbestos During Building Damage or Destruction
As we’ve talked about in previous blogs, such as Buying a Home Built Before 1990? It May Contain Asbestos, the rules around asbestos regulation in private homes is murky, with the need for inspection and abatement largely left up to the individual. This can lead to heated debates when the home is sold for the health hazards it poses to the new buyers. What isn’t murky is the laws surrounding asbestos in schools. Acts such as AHERA law down strict guidelines for schools to follow, and allow the EPA to enforce them with civil suits and fines. [Read more…] about The Federal Regulations for Asbestos in School Buildings
Laws get passed for many different reasons from national security to keeping services funded. However, there are many a law that were only passed after a great civic outcry from the people. The most pointed of these coming after chains of lawsuits (class-action or otherwise) show the government the issues or hazards that are posed. This was how the string of civil litigation dealing with asbestos workers, installers, and property owners shaped the laws and views of modern-day asbestos, and how the end result is more complicated than you might think. [Read more…] about A History of Asbestos Civil Litigation in the US