You may have never heard of asbestos awareness training, but it can save lives. It provides homeowners and workers a primary knowledge of how one can identify its presence, where it’s normally found in buildings, and how one can avoid exposure. Knowing where it’s found can help workers avoid exposure to this deadly mineral.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a bunch of minerals seen almost everywhere in nature and is a fibrous substance. They’re found in fireproofing and noise reduction materials, electrical insulation, cement, construction supplies, roof shingles, ceiling plaster, chemical filters, and other types of manufacturing materials. Small asbestos particles can become airborne (float in the air), especially throughout the manufacturing of materials that have asbestos. These airborne particles can be breathed in, causing mesothelioma, cancer, and other asbestos-associated ailments.
Asbestos awareness training is vital because asbestos is found in a large number of buildings in addition to houses and schools. Within the workplace or home asbestos will mostly be seen as sprayed-in insulation above ceilings and on steel beams, in ceiling and flooring tiles manufactured prior to 1981, and in electrical insulation around ducts and pipes. As far as flooring tiles are concerned the majority of 9-inch tiles and some 12-inch tiles will contain asbestos in the event that they were produced prior to 1981.
How can you establish if asbestos fibers are a hazard in your office building?
If a building has asbestos-containing materials a notice will be placed near any major door alerting everyone to its existence. Furthermore, if asbestos-containing-electrical insulation exists a label will be placed to identify the possible danger.
Essential ways to avoid exposure
To prevent exposure you have to first be aware of its likely locations. If you’re uncertain if a material includes asbestos you should assume that it does until otherwise determined. Simply looking at ceiling tiles, flooring tiles, acoustic ceilings, electrical insulation, and other types of materials will not normally tell you if they contain asbestos. The one way to verify with certainty if a material includes asbestos is to have the Environmental Health and Safety Department remove samples and look at them in a laboratory. By no means take a sample on your own as it could possibly cause particles to become airborne where they can be breathed in.
If an item is marked as containing asbestos or you believe that it may perhaps contain hazardous asbestos, such as 9-inch flooring tiles or decorative ceiling tiles, you should not touch it. Do not ever move, cut, disturb, saw, hammer, or damage any material that you believe might contain this deadly mineral.
You should first check with the Environmental Health and Safety Department before doing any work such as repairing or changing ceiling tiles or flooring tiles, changing or repairing electrical insulation surrounding pipes, or removal of “popcorn” ceilings. This includes moving aside ceiling tiles to carry out any kind of maintenance work. Previous to performing any work you should first decide if the material contains asbestos. Once you have determined that the materials are safe the work can be done. Nevertheless, if asbestos is discovered it must be removed or sealed by qualified experts before any work is performed.
Always report any materials that have asbestos to the Environmental Health and Safety Department. Until you have positively determined that any ceiling tiles, flooring tiles, or sprayed-on insulation or plaster does not contain asbestos, you shouldn’t try and carry out any work involving them. If you should come across potentially toxic material take actions to prevent other people from coming into contact with the material or disturbing it until an asbestos abatement crew can clear it up. Knowing what materials contain asbestos and where they are found can help you avoid exposure to others and to yourself.