Mesothelioma Prevention and Asbestos Remediation

Mesothelioma Prevention: Repairs & Remediation

Asbestos remediation, also referred to as asbestos abatement or removal, is often the choice of last resort for homeowners and building managers that are confronted with an asbestos problem.  Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is typically found in homes as insulation for pipes or as a fire retardant in fireplaces and boiler rooms.  Asbestos does not pose much of a danger when undisturbed; but, like a sleeping dragon, when disturbed, asbestos can become deadly.  When asbestos fibers are released into the air, as might be the case if asbestos insulation were hit with a hammer, the friable asbestos fibers can be inhaled or swallowed and lodge themselves into your lungs and stomach resulting in serious medical conditions like Mesothelioma.  For this reason asbestos abatement can be a very complicated and dangerous process.

Mesothelioma Prevention: Asbestos Repair

Often there will be no need for asbestos remediation.  While you might feel safer with the asbestos completely removed, often asbestos removal is cost prohibitive and typically more dangerous than a mere repair.  When asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) like pipe insulation are damaged or frayed, often the best solution is to simply encapsulate or enclose the ACM. 

Encapsulation (or sealing) typically involves treating the asbestos with a sealant like latex that binds the fibers together, making them non-friable and less dangerous.  The enclosure (or covering) repair method involves the installation of a leak-tight protective wrap around the asbestos to prevent friable asbestos from contaminating the air.  Typically, something like sheet-rock or plaster is used to form what is essentially a pipe chase.  The advantages of encapsulation are that it is much cheaper than abatement, and you do not have to disturb the asbestos.  The downside is that the asbestos will probably have to be removed eventually and that the enclosure merely isolates the released asbestos fibers.  Thus, the enclosure will have to be carefully monitored for damage that might result in the release of the friable asbestos fibers. 

Asbestos repairs are cheaper and typically safer than remediation or abatement because you do not have to disturb the asbestos, thereby decreasing the chance that asbestos fibers will enter the environment.  However, both repairs are merely less expensive stop gap measures that may ultimately result in greater costs and headaches when the time comes to finally remove the asbestos.

Mesothelioma Prevention: Asbestos Remediation or Abatement

Abatement and remediation are often used interchangeably to describe the process of complete removal of asbestos from a site.  The most common abatement or remediation project involves the removal of asbestos insulation and wrappings from pipes.  The greatest advantage of abatement is that you don?t have to worry about the asbestos anymore once the project is complete.  Alternatively, abatement is typically very expensive.  The removal of asbestos must be performed by a state-licensed asbestos removal contractor, and once the asbestos is removed you will usually have to purchase and install replacement materials.