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Asbestos Dangers: Abate Or Leave In Place?

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Have you discovered that your property has asbestos present in it? There are a number of older homes that have asbestos present in the siding, flooring and ceilings. The potential dangers posed by asbestos varies from case to case. This is one reason why asbestos remains in some properties, and in other properties, asbestos abatement is sought. 


Asbestos is a mineral, and it is used in products because it is durable and has fire resistant qualities. The issue with the material is that when it is broken up, tiny fibers are released. If the fibers are inhaled, they can cause a serious and aggressive lung cancer referred to as mesothelioma

In 1989, the EPA issued a ban, which prohibited the use of asbestos in all products. An appeals court overturned this decision in 1991. The overturned ruling prohibited the use of asbestos in certain products.

Removals and Risks

It is a normal reaction to want to remove all asbestos containing materials from your property. However, keep in mind that asbestos containing materials that are intact do not generally pose a threat. When materials are disturbed or damaged, danger exists because of the possibility of the fibers being released into the air. 

In some cases, it may actually be better not to remove the material because this disturbance will inevitably release the fibers. As a property owner, you certainly have the right to request asbestos abatement services on the sole premise of not wanting harmful materials present.

Do not make the assumption that you can remove the material yourself. Special equipment and protective gear must be worn, and you cannot expect to be protected by simply wearing a mask.

If you are intent on removals, you need to entrust the task to an asbestos abatement provider. This is because once the fibers become airborne, there is not a safe level of exposure. Professionals have the skills needed to ensure safe removals. 

Cost Considerations

The cost of asbestos abatement services will vary according to the amount of material that needs to be extracted and other factors. You will need to factor in labor costs. These jobs consist of more than removing the asbestos containing materials.

Proper disposal is also an integral part of ensuring safety. Some states have regulated standards for asbestos disposals. For example, the extracted material may have to be disposed of at certain landfills. It is the contractors' job to ensure proper disposal, but the fees associated with the disposal are part of the cost of the abatement project. When you consider the devastating, life changing effects of mesothelioma, the costs associated with safe abatement are worth it. Talk to your local asbestos professionals, such as IRS Environmental of WA Inc., for more information.