Working Safely Around Asbestos Containing Material (ACM)!
Asbestos Is A Real Danger! It’s Presence Still Exists In Commercial Buildings and Personal Residences. ECOS regularly receives calls from commercial and residential clients about testing for asbestos. Sometimes these clients want to self perform a test using a kit and/or take their own samples. ECOS professionals are required by CDPHE to perform the sampling if and when we are going to conduct a test for a client. We strongly recommend this approach since the cost of our test is cheap relative to the dangers of a client self performing their own test.
Although the use of asbestos has dropped significantly in recent decades, asbestos containing materials (ACM) are common anywhere we work, live and play. Therefore, this dangerous fiber remains a serious threat to all.
ECOS Strongly Recommends Stay vigilant.
Anyone involved in the removal, repair or encapsulation of ACM should be especially cautious today, taking the steps to avoid any unnecessary exposure to the toxic mineral.
The danger is real. Beware of it. No level of exposure is considered safe. Asbestos materials are no longer allowed in new construction, but the renovation or remodeling of any structure built before the 1990s could be a dangerous undertaking, too.
Inhaling microscopic fibers can lead to a number of serious respiratory illnesses, including asbestosis, lung cancer or malignant mesothelioma.
When working on a ACM project, protective gear should be worn at all times, much like firemen do when entering an older building to avoid smoke inhalation. A fireman, for example, will wear a special breathing apparatus, which remains in place well after the fire is extinguished.
Those removing ACM should do the same. Any clothing worn near asbestos should be left at the worksite or properly cleaned before coming home to avoid subjecting others to unwanted exposure.
Showering at work is very important, too, making sure no fibers are left on the hair or skin before returning home. Air monitoring should be done before, during and after the project.
Mesothelioma was once known purely as an occupational disease, but that has changed. Secondhand exposure is real. People are exposed from spouses or parents bringing home asbestos inadvertently. Don’t let that happen to your family.
ECOS Recommends Clients Hire A Colorado Certified General Asbestos Contractor (GAC)
It’s also why abatement is so important today. If you suspect ACM is present in your home or business, contact a Colorado certified expert to evaluate the situation. ACM typically is not a problem if undisturbed or non-friable.
The seemingly innocent dust may not bother you initially — and the immediate danger may seem minimal — but it could change your future dramatically. Mesothelioma, for example, has a latency period of 20-50 years between first exposure to asbestos and diagnosis.
Once these dangerous fibers lodge into the thin lining around the lungs, they cause inflammation, scarring and genetic changes that eventually lead to an incurable cancer. The best chance of beating this cancer is to get diagnosed in the early stages of mesothelioma.
The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations of 2007 reinforced many of the procedures that had been recommended for years regarding asbestos removal.
Some key items to remember when removing asbestos in the workplace:
- Air monitoring
- Decontamination procedures
- Asbestos vacuum cleaners
- Water filtration
- Posting danger signs
In older structures, ACM likely is in the flooring, ceiling, walls, insulation, plumbing and electrical equipment.
ACM was part of caulking, cement and drywall. And it likely is still there today.
Many common building materials in the 20th century contained asbestos. It was used to strengthen and resist heat.
When these ACM products begin to deteriorate or if someone drills, sands, or disturbs them, the asbestos fibers enter the air.
Asbestos was used decades ago in building schools, hospitals, community centers and beautiful homes. Removing it today isn’t easy, but often it is necessary.
Do it correctly to avoid any problems.
Boulder, Colorado Clients Wanting ACM Help Will Be Serviced From our Boulder Office:
4525 N. Broadway
Boulder, Colorado 80304
Aspen, Basalt, and Snowmass Colorado Clients Wanting ACM Help Will Be Serviced From our Aspen Office:
401 Aspen Airport Business Center
Aspen, Colorado 81611
Steamboat Clients Wanting ACM Help Will Be Serviced From our Steamboat Office:
1920 Bridge Lane Unit 8
Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80487