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What is Asbestos

Contrary to what people believe, asbestos is not a commercially manufactured product.  It is a mineral which comes from the ground and is mined like any other ore or rock- The term "asbestos" is the common name given to a group of hydrated silicate minerals that can be separated into relatively soft silky fibers that have great tensile strength.  The characteristic of the asbestos minerals to "flake" into fibers has made it so valuable for widespread use in a variety of commercial products and has created such a problem for us as a serious health hazard.  The microscopic fibers tend to stay airborne for long periods of time due to the aerodynamic properties of fibers, and are thus easily inhaled into the lungs.

Asbestos is derived from an ancient Greek word meaning "inextinguishable".  In reality, mineral asbestos is nonflammable even at extremely high temperatures.  It inhibits certain types of chemical reactions, catalyzes others, and is extremely flexible and durable.  All these qualities combine to make it especially suitable for a wide variety of demanding uses in today’s products.  It is also a health hazard to its users.  Due to the liability of building owners in both the private and public sectors with regards to the presence of asbestos fibers and subsequent potential exposure, to its occupants, identification of asbestos containing building materials (ACBM) by building inspections is a necessary step in the abatement process.

These inspections serve to identify asbestos containing building materials and determine the potential for exposure within specified building spaces.   After asbestos containing building materials are identified and assigned a priority level, a phased abatement plan should be formulated.  Planet Protection Services, Inc. informs the building owner of all visible and physically accessible asbestos containing building materials, both potentially friable. (easily crumbled by hand pressure), as well as presently friable.

Currently the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) addresses only materials that are presently friable.  However, non-friable building materials create an environmental exposure when they are broken, cut, torn, or pulverized, therefore even these materials will pose a risk if they are disturbed during demolition or renovation.

This report presents the analytical data in several forms to best suit the needs of the building owner.  The analytical results section is a listing of samples taken and their asbestos content, if any.  The structural diagrams illustrate in detail the locations, types, and quantities of all sample locations.



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Last modified: March 12, 2007