23 asbestos removal F.A.Q.

Asbestos and lead questions

Below is a list of the most commonly asked questions we get regarding asbestos abatement, asbestos inspections, and lead testing and inspections. If you have any questions not answered on this list please feel free to call or email us.

asbestos roofing removal contractors

Asbestos removal F.A.Q.

The most common questions we get asked about asbestos removal, asbestos inspections, and lead inspections.

The only way to be sure whether a material contains asbestos is to have it tested by a qualified laboratory. EPA only recommends testing suspect materials if they are damaged (fraying, crumbling) or if you are planning a renovation that would disturb the suspect material. Samples should be taken by a properly trained and accredited asbestos professional (inspector).
Asbestos that is in good condition and left undisturbed is unlikely to present a health risk. The risks from asbestos occur when it is damaged or disturbed where asbestos fibers become airborne and can be inhaled. Managing asbestos in place and maintaining it in good repair is often the best approach.
If you have vermiculite insulation in your home, you should assume this material may be contaminated with asbestos and be aware of steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from exposure to asbestos. The EPA recommends that vermiculite insulation be left undisturbed. Airborne asbestos fibers present a health risk through inhalation, so the first step is to not disturb the material, which could release fibers into the air. If you disturb the insulation, you may inhale some asbestos fibers. The degree of health risk depends on how much and how often this occurred. If you choose to remove the vermiculite insulation, this work should be done by a trained and accredited asbestos abatement contractor that is separate and independent from the company that performed the assessment of the vermiculite insulation to avoid any conflict of interest.

Yes! The likelihood of an older home having asbestos is significantly higher. If you’re considering buying an older home it is important to make sure you know it is asbestos free. If you already live in an older home it’s crucial that you make sure you’re not at risk of asbestos related injuries to your health, and peace of mind is always a plus if your home is tested and found to be asbestos free.

5. At Alpha Environmental We can take care of everything you need related to asbestos abatement and inspections.
It’s not possible for you to tell whether a material in your home contains asbestos simply by looking at it. If you suspect a material within your home might contain asbestos (for example floor tile, ceiling tile or old pipe wrap) and the material is damaged (fraying or falling apart) or if you are planning on performing a renovation that would disturb the material, the EPA recommends that you have it sampled by a properly trained and accredited asbestos professional (inspector). The professional then should use a qualified laboratory to perform the asbestos analysis. Also, you may learn more about whether the replacement materials you intend to install might possibly contain asbestos by reading the product labels, calling the manufacturer, or by asking if your retailer can provide you with the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the product(s) in question.  
Yes. You should wear a NIOSH approved mask and check the filter to make sure its right mask for the task at hand.
Yes. In order to test you will disturb the ACM and fibers will become airborne in a small area. The mask will limit the exposure you have when testing. 
On July 12, 1989, the EPA issued a final rule under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) banning most asbestos-containing products in the United States. In 1991, the rule was vacated and remanded by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a result, most of the original ban on the manufacture, importation, processing, or distribution in commerce for most of the asbestos containing product categories originally covered in the 1989 final rule that was overturned. Only the bans on corrugated paper, rollboard, commercial paper, specialty paper, and flooring felt and any new uses of asbestos remained banned under the 1989 rule. Although most asbestos containing products can still legally be manufactured, imported, processed and distributed in the U.S., according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the production and use of asbestos has declined significantly.
No. The EPA does not have funding available to homeowners for asbestos testing or removal.
Results can vary based on the lab. You could have the results of your asbestos tests back within 24-72 hours. 
Asbestos is extremely dangerous to handle and leaving the job to a professional will reduce the risk of inhaling small fibers that could lead to Asbestosis, Lung Cancer or Mesothelioma.
The answer to this depends on several factors. An air test would have to be done for quality but for the most part if its undisturbed and intact then be advised to leave it that way. 
The typical removal process takes anywhere from 8-72 hours depending on the scope of the project.
No! Never enter a room you suspect might have disturbed Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACM). Hire a professional to have it inspected for your safety. 
Your medical professionals  should be able to recommend you to a specialist. Don’t overlook how important it can be to get an appointment with a specialist.
Yes. Lead is toxic to the body at large exposure rates. 
Lead is tested for with two methods. The first is done by taking a small sample of the suspected location and having it lab analyzed or using an X-Ray Fluorescence Gun.
An X-Ray Fluorescence gun is a non-destructive tool designed to perform elemental analysis on materials.
XRF guns, formally called XRF analyzers or XRF machines, perform measurements by harnessing the power of X-ray fluorescence (XRF), specifically what is called energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF). 
Polarized light microscopy. It allows for a contrast-enhanced look at the molecular structure of materials without the use of dyes.
Yes. It is always safest to abate. 
If done through insurance, they will pay for you to relocate during the time of the project. If you are paying out of pocket, usually staying with a relative or family member is ideal until the quality air test shows that the zone is asbestos free.