When you hire an asbestos abatement team, you’re asking them to remove or encapsulate your property’s asbestos. But what happens when they discover another hazardous material such as lead in the process? One must recognize that where there is asbestos, there is likely lead, which is why it’s important that the abatement company understands the link between asbestos and lead RRP.
The Similarities of Asbestos and Lead Risks
First, we must understand the similarities in the risks. When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed, it becomes friable and the fibers become airborne. Much like asbestos, lead particulates can also become airborne when chipped, scraped, or sanded. While asbestos can cause long-term damage to the lungs, lead can have adverse health effects such as inhibiting growth and mental development in children and causing respiratory and heart issues in adults.
Containing Lead Disturbance Resulting from Asbestos Abatement
Oftentimes some demolition must take place to reach any asbestos hidden behind interior structures, potentially disturbing lead paint resulting in airborne particulates. For this reason, certified asbestos abatement teams take precautionary measures to ensure they, and any future occupants, are protected from both lead paint and asbestos exposure by doing the following:
- Sealing the work area.
- Utilizing negative-pressure filtration.
- Using proper disposal methods.
The EPA’s Approach to Lead and Asbestos Risk Management
These two hazardous materials often reside within the same structures, which is why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has provisions in place when dealing with both substances simultaneously.
Asbestos Abatement Companies and RRP Licensing
Due to potential lead disruption, the EPA’s Lead RRP Rules have a provision stating an asbestos abatement team must be certified and licensed according to the RRP rules, and all employees must be trained by a certified renovator if they do any of the following:
- Disrupt over six square feet of painted surface per interior room.
- Disrupt over 20 square feet of exterior painted surface.
- Perform demolition of painted surfaces.
Lead RRP vs. Asbestos Abatement Regulations
Not only will the asbestos abatement team need to abide by the EPA’s asbestos abatement and waste handling regulations, but they will also need to follow the lead RRP rules. Fortunately, asbestos abatement regulations are more stringent than lead RRP, so many of the rules overlap. However, the EPA requires both asbestos and lead air clearance and verification be performed separately.
With hazardous materials often showing up alongside one another, it’s important companies understand the link between asbestos abatement and lead RRP. Fortunately, at Fiber Control, Inc., our team is outfitted with the proper RRP certification and asbestos abatement experience to handle several hazardous materials simultaneously. If you are interested in how our services can help you, contact us today.