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AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
ASBESTOS-FREE INSULATION MATERIALS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
ASBESTOS REMOVAL GUIDE
ASBESTOS TESTING LAB LIST
CEILING FINISHES INTERIOR
CEILINGS, DROP or SUSPENDED PANEL
CEILINGS & WALLS, PLASTER TYPES
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
EFFLORESCENCE SALTS & WHITE DEPOSITS
FLOOR TILE HISTORY & INGREDIENTS
FLOOR TILES ASBESTOS
FLOOR TYPES & DEFECTS
HOUSE DOCTOR, how-to be
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
METAL LATH, PLASTER & STUCCO
Museum Artifact Preservation
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
DRYWALL, PLASTER, BEAVERBOARD
PLASTER TYPE IDENTIFICATION
SAFETY HAZARDS & INSPECTIONS
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
WORLD TRADE CENTER 9-11 DUST PHOTOS
How to identify damaged or unsafe asbestos installations: this article shows how to spot asbestos in poor or damaged condition in buildings & what to do about it, including identification of amateur or improper asbestos "abatement" projects that failed to properly remove materials or that left abandoned asbestos materials in place.
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This document assists building buyers, owners or inspectors who need to identify asbestos materials (or probable-asbestos) in buildings by simple visual inspection.
We provide photographs and descriptive text of asbestos insulation and other asbestos-containing products to permit identification of definite, probable, or possible asbestos materials in buildings.
While an expert lab test using polarized light microscopy may be needed to identify the specific type of asbestos fiber, or to identify the presence of asbestos in air or dust samples,
keep in mind that many asbestos-containing building products not only are obvious and easy to recognize, but since there were not other look-alike products that were not asbestos, a visual identification of this material can be virtually a certainty in many cases.
See CEMENT ASBESTOS SHINGLE WEAR SIGNS for indications of worn, friable cement-asbestos products.
For asbestos-containing flooring, see ASBESTOS FLOOR HAZARDS.
Also see ASBESTOS DUCTS, HVAC a field identification guide to visual detection of asbestos in and on heating and cooling system ducts and flue vents.
Also see Micro-Photographs of Dust from the World Trade Center collapse following the 9/11/01 attack. Links to U.S. government and other authoritative research and advice are included.
Asbestos insulation in poor condition like this water pipe asbestos insulation in an 1875 home (falling off, or mechanically damaged) should be removed and properly disposed-of by an asbestos abatement professional.
INCOMPLETE, AMATEUR REMOVAL - Asbestos on heating pipes - incomplete, amateur removal - highly suspect for contamination
Shown below is a close up of asbestos debris left on a heating pipe. The insulation was simply removed without cleaning.
The orangish fibrous material under the white covering on the straight pipe runs is fiberglass pipe insulation which has been added.
But the remaining paste on the elbow tells us that the pipes were not cleaned and washed during the remediation.
Someone installed fiberglass heating pipe insulation around the elbow but left the elbow un-cleaned.
The building owner had been told that a proper asbestos removal had been performed and that all pipes were re-insulated.
A professional asbestos abatement company with properly-trained workes and competent supervision would have washed these pipes and probably painted them with a sealant.
Finding scraps of asbestos insulation material left on heating pipes (such as in these photos) is a strong indicator that removal was done by an amateur. In such cases I recommend that the building air and settled dust on surfaces be tested for asbestos contamination since removal was by amateurs.
Any air handling equipment (such as a central air conditioning system) should also be checked for asbestos fiber contamination.
When we see evidence of short cuts and amateur workmanship in an asbestos remediation project we're worried that there may have been asbestos contamination of other site or building areas.
So the expense to "correct" this condition, if testing confirms cross-contamination of the site with asbestos fibers, could be greater than the simple cost to clean and re-insulate the piping. Professional cleaning of other building areas could be needed.
Watch out: in 2010 The New York Times reported [paraphrasing from that article] that over a five year period beginning in 2001 hundreds of asbestos-removal training certificates were given to people who had completed no training whatsoever.
Continue reading at ASBESTOS REMOVAL, WETTING GUIDELINES or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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