Our office is located in the historic downtown district of San Pedro, California
and is home to some very beautiful and very old architecture. It was exciting
a few days ago to notice new activity taking place a few doors down at
the historic, art-deco style building that has been vacant for the past
many years. Walking by to sneak a peek my curiosity ended when a cloud
of dust came billowing out of the door. My trepidation increased as I
saw workers without any respiratory protection carrying out loads of debris
and my only thought was – asbestos!
With all of the homes and buildings constructed from the 1940s through
the 1970s when usage of asbestos was at its peak, renovation and remodeling
work frequently involves exposures to asbestos. However, given the cost
of hiring professional asbestos abatement contractors, far too many property
and homeowners seek to cut corners and have demolition work involving
asbestos removal performed by cheap, unskilled laborers. Having the work
done in this manner puts not only the laborers at great risk, but neighbors
and passerbyers are also exposed to the dust.
Asbestos waste is toxic waste and needs to be treated as such. When asbestos
is removed and handled improperly you can bet it isn’t being disposed
of safely. Dumping asbestos at the local landfill just further spreads
the contamination. Asbestos must be disposed of in a landfill that is
licensed and equipped to handle asbestos waste.
California Rule 902 requires that, prior to any demolition or renovation
work, an inspection performed by a certified asbestos toxics and waste
management professional must be completed. If asbestos is found to be
present, asbestos control and abatement procedures must be followed and
removal must be performed by trained and accredited asbestos professionals.
These laws are in place to prevent asbestos from contaminating the environment
and to protect those who could come in contact with the deadly mineral.