Asbestos is the name given to a number of naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals that have been mined for their useful properties such as thermal insulation, chemical and thermal stability, and high tensile strength. Asbestos is made up of microscopic bundles of fibers that may become airborne when distributed. These fibers get into the air and may become inhaled into the lungs, where they may cause significant health problems.
Asbestos is not always an immediate hazard. In fact, if asbestos can be maintained in good condition, it is recommended that it be left alone and periodic surveillance performed to monitor its condition. It is only when asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are disturbed or the materials become damaged that it becomes a hazard. When the materials become damaged, the fibers separate and may then become airborne.
In the asbestos industry, the term “friable” is used to describe asbestos that can be reduced to dust by hand pressure. “Non-friable” means asbestos that is too hard to be reduced to dust by hand. Non-friable materials, such as transite siding and floor tiles are not regulated provided it does not become friable. Machine grinding, sanding, and dry-buffing are ways of causing non-friable materials to become friable.
Generally, buildings constructed in 1981 or later are not expected to contain asbestos. For buildings with a date of construction prior to 1981, there is a potential that ACM was used in construction materials. Grant Associates conducts limited, visual evaluations of interiors, accessible areas for the presence of suspect asbestos-containing materials (ACM). The objective of this visual survey is to note the presence and condition of suspect ACM observed. Based on the results of the assessment, Grant Associates will provide recommendations for further action and refer you to a qualified abatement contractor. All staff members conducting on-site inspections are certified according to the provisions of the Asbestos Hazardous Emergency Response Act (AHERA).