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Hazardous Building Material Surveys and Management

Whether in our workplace in our home many of us are surrounded by lead paint and asbestos-containing materials without knowing it.  When these materials are in good condition and undisturbed they may not pose a human health hazard.  But once disturbed exposure can be significant.  Property owners who are unaware of the presence of hazardous building materials in their property take the risk of accidental exposure from intentional or accidental disturbance.

Property owners often do not become aware of hazardous building materials in their structures until plans are made for major renovations or demolition.  While this is an appropriate time to conduct a survey and identify hazardous building materials having this information during occupancy allows for proper management of hazardous materials to prevent accidental exposure and maintain regulatory compliance.

Structures built before 1978 may have lead-containing paints.  The older the structure the more likely it is to have lead-containing paint, and paint with a higher concentration of lead.  Lead paint is a serious health hazard to children.  Deterioration of lead paint is readily visible when it is loose and flaky.  However, lead can also be present in high concentrations in dust generated from lead paint that appears to be in good condition.

Asbestos was banned from some products in 1978.  A 1989 rule to phase-out all asbestos use was struck down by the courts.  As a result, today it is still possible to purchase building materials containing regulated concentration of asbestos.  These materials may not be marked as such but if tested, the asbestos would be identified.  As a result, even buildings built last year may contain asbestos-containing materials.  In a commercial, industrial, or institutional building the identification of these materials prior to disturbance is required.

Insight Environmental provides high quality hazardous building material surveys that properly identify and document the presence, location, extent, and condition hazardous building materials.  Surveys can cover all material sin a building (comprehensive survey) or be limited to specific areas of the building or materials that are subject to disturbance under a planned renovation (targeted survey).  Additionally, Insight Environmental can limit surveys to specific hazards, such as asbestos or lead paint, or survey for all commonly identified hazards; which includes asbestos, lead paint, arsenic-containing materials (canec), mercury in electrical switches, equipment, and lighting, and polychlorinated biphenyls (most commonly in fluorescent light fixture ballasts).

If hazardous building materials are identified, Insight Environmental can provide project specification for the removal of hazardous building materials, or management plans for the safe management of these materials.

The cost of a hazardous building material survey depends on the type of survey requested, size of the facility, and diversity of building materials within the facility.  For small facilities a cost proposal can be provided based on some basic information about the survey desired, information about the facility, and a few photographs.  For larger facilities a site walk is recommended in order to provide an accurate proposal.

» Recent News

Yap Landfill Remediation Project fieldwork completed

In late March of this year, Evan Pfaff, of Insight Environmental returned from Yap, Federated States of Micronesia where he had been since early January. 

New Website

In June 2012, Insight Environmental launched its new and improved website.  The new website provides existing and potential clients withe additional information on the services provided by Insight. The new website has a more professional look and improved navigation.  It also has a contact form which allows clients to send an email.

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