October 18, 2011

any products were made with asbestos

Before much of the nation switched from a manufacturing-based economy to one where goods and services prevailed, it was not uncommon to find factories and mills throughout the South. Alabama was a state rich in manufacturing, especially in bigger cities like Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery. Many products were made with asbestos, a substance once thought to be safe, but now a leading cause of illness, including cancer.

Older Houses With Asbestos 

Homes generally built between the 1930s and 1950s are the ones where people have the greatest chance to be exposed to asbestos under the right conditions. Resilient floor tiles, sheet flooring and adhesives used to install flooring could contain asbestos, and any sanding or scraping of tiles could release asbestos particles into the air where they could be inhaled. Removal of any vinyl flooring or tiles that could contain asbestos is best handled by a professional accredited by the state of Alabama.

Newer Properties and Flooring Felt 

If you are in a home or building constructed after August 1990, it is likely asbestos in flooring will not be a problem. Federal, and by extension state of Alabama, regulations say that no person shall manufacture or import flooring felt for use in the United States or for export to other countries. The Environmental Protection Agency cites flooring felt as a paper-based product meant to be bonded to vinyl flooring or placed underneath floor coverings. Homes, schools and offices built in the last 20 years are thought to be safe from asbestos flooring exposure for this reason.

Two Types of Asbestos 

If asbestos is found in flooring in Alabama homes and businesses, chances are newer places will have "nonfriable" asbestos as opposed to friable. These terms pertain to the percentage concentration of asbestos in the flooring or floor covering. Floor products with more than 1 percent asbestos concentration that can be crumbled into powder are considered friable, while nonfriable asbestos in flooring cannot easily be crumbled.

Asbestos-Containing Material 

If asbestos is used in flooring for newer homes and businesses, it may not be present to the naked eye. Newer asbestos in flooring is often encapsuled so it doesn't leak into the air, and often it is mandated that the asbestos be covered with something such as plastic, asphalt or cement to prevent it from escaping quickly. This is often a method used on older floor tiles as well to prevent asbestos leakage or inhalation.

Asbestos Abatement 

Persons trained in abatement or removal of asbestos in flooring must be accredited according to Alabama state regulations. The Safe State Program establishes training programs for workers to be brought up to speed on the latest rules and regulations for asbestos removal. Any project that requires asbestos removal in Alabama mandates that workers be trained and certified by the Safe State Program before proceeding.
 Source : asbestos wiki