Asbestos is a fibrous material that had widespread use as an insulating material because of its superior durability and fire resistance. In the 1980s, asbestos use was declined as it was harmful to human health. Cancer and other asbestos-related illnesses were common among factory workers and others who handled asbestos regularly.
Since asbestos particles are extremely harmful when inhaled, contractors must get an asbestos survey conducted before demolishing a building that is suspected of containing asbestos as a building material. Asbestos management is required if the material is detected in the building prior to the removal of the asbestos.
Why is an Asbestos survey required?
The presence of asbestos in building materials is typically only established through visual inspection. The material is required to undergo laboratory screening, and only the results can tell the amount of asbestos present. These surveys are part of due diligence measures that need to be conducted as per government regulations. Such surveys are undertaken during real-estate transactions, renovation or demolishment of buildings.
Types of asbestos surveys
There are three types of Asbestos surveys –
Type 1 Asbestos survey
The buildings are surveyed without sampling or checking inaccessible places. Inaccessible places are assumed to have asbestos unless proved otherwise. The materials, too, are treated as asbestos-containing materials unless laboratory inspection and analysis proves otherwise. The Type 1 asbestos survey is no longer recommended.
Type 2 Asbestos survey
In the Type 2 asbestos survey, buildings are inspected for Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). Material is collected from any places where possible and is sent to an accredited laboratory for analysis. Sometimes the surveyor may look at the age and the type of the material. Just by visual inspection, the surveyor may give a green signal, and in this case, a lab analysis is not required.
Type 3 Asbestos survey
This is a comprehensive survey that is conducted before a building’s demolishment. The type 3 survey is similar to a type 2 survey with the difference that all the areas are thoroughly checked for the presence of asbestos. Areas like cavity walls, ceilings and floors are also checked thoroughly if the inspector feels there is a probability of Asbestos being present.
Asbestos Management Plan
Asbestos particles can become airborne and enter the respiratory system, making the material extremely hazardous. Hence an Asbestos Management Plan is required to dispose of the material safely.
If any ACM is releasing fiber or is predicted to do so in the future, the product may be required to be repaid or replaced. A competent contractor or an asbestos licensed contractor shall be called upon to complete the work.
If the ACM is in good condition and no release of fiber is detected, it is recommended that the material be allowed to remain as it is. However, there is a plan for constant inspection of the material for a future release of Asbestos. The frequency of such inspection depends on age, position, accessibility, etc.
There may be other conditions except these two. In those cases, typically the harmful material is encapsulated or sealed. It is still mandatory to inspect the material at regular intervals. Asbestos fibers, when inhaled can lead to chronic respiratory diseases and can even lead to lung cancer. It is, therefore, indispensable to handle this substance very carefully.
I hope you enjoy reading our blog post and it helps you get a better understanding of the types of asbestos surveys.
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