The process of "asbestos abatement," or the removal or reduction of asbestos-containing products in a home, school, workplace, ship, or any other structure is best handled by professionals. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a federal regulatory body has very detailed guidelines and laws for asbestos abatement and for the companies that handle the removal and disposal of asbestos.
Don't Panic - First Rule for Asbestos Abatement
The EPA's "first rule" for homeowners who suspect or know that there are asbestos products in their homes, schools or workplaces is "don't panic." The EPA states that asbestos containing materials (ACMs) that are in good condition and not being manipulated (as during asbestos removal or renovations) are probably not a danger to the people who live or work there.
Undamaged Asbestos Should Not Be Touched
As the EPA's website carefully puts it, “Generally, material in good condition will not release asbestos fibers." A homeowner should check regularly on suspected or known ACMs, visually inspecting them for signs of damage or wear such as abrasions, water damage or tearing. The EPA strongly advises homeowners to hire a qualified asbestos abatement company to deal with ACMs in poor or damaged conditions, or for renovations that may require special handling and disposal of ACMs.
However, the EPA notes that you can't tell whether a product or material contains asbestos just by looking at it, unless it's labeled — and many ACMs are not labeled as such. When in doubt, leave it to the professionals. Even minor repairs of or near ACMs can cause toxic asbestos fibers to be released into the air, where they may be inhaled — even hours later.
Contact an Asbestos Victims' Law Firm for More Information
If you have concerns about asbestos abatement in your home, at your children's school, in the workplace or elsewhere, contact mesothelioma centers to speak with qualified asbestos attorneys that specializes in protecting the rights of people who have been harmed by asbestos.