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Asbestos
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June 23, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

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June 23, 2015
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asbestos-exposure-diagramIf you watch television, chances are you’ve heard that asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma. What may not be as clear, however, is what mesothelioma is and how asbestos exposure causes it. This blog will cover the basics of mesothelioma, as well as the link it and other health conditions have to asbestos exposure, but it’s important to remember to consult a doctor for an actual examination and diagnosis of any health problems.

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that usually occurs in the lungs, but can also afflict the lining of the abdominal cavity or the sac surrounding the heart. According the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, asbestos exposure is the primary but not only cause of mesothelioma. Unfortunately, not only do the effects of mesothelioma often imitate other, less serious conditions, they can also take as long as 20 to 50 years to manifest, making the task of diagnosis dangerous.

Asbestos is a fibrous, naturally-occurring mineral. It is an efficient and inexpensive insulator and naturally fireproof, and these qualities meant it was used widely, particularly in the construction industry. This used largely stopped by 1978 with the passage of laws and regulations restricting its use, but because it had already been used in so many buildings, exposure continues to remain a risk. Asbestos can be found throughout the home, but most notably in insulation, textured plasters in walls and ceilings, and in some kinds of concrete and flooring, particularly those used around furnaces, stoves, water heaters, and fireplaces.

asbestos_house_diagramAsbestos exposure typically happens when asbestos-containing construction materials are damaged, allowing the fibers to become airborne. They are then accidentally inhaled, potentially being swallowed or lodging into the throat or lungs.

Because asbestos exposure most often happens from damaged or disturbed materials lofting fibers into the air, if you suspect that your home contains asbestos building materials it’s best to leave them alone and call a professional. It’s impossible to identify asbestos materials without the use of a specialized microscope or other specialized equipment, so the identification of these materials is best left to a properly-equipped technician trained to avoid dangerously damaging or disturbing them.

Once the materials are identified,  if they are damaged or otherwise putting you and your family or employees and customers at risk, a plan for mitigation and/or removal can be formulated. Insurance will often cover the cost, but it’s best to make a claim immediately and work with a abatement company that is trusted by and will coordinate with your insurance provider.

If your property suffers a flood, fire or other unexpected event, call your insurance carrier and report it. Then have your home tested by a state certified inspector. If they find asbestos, lead or mold, tell your adjuster you want an estimate from Superior Abatement Services Inc.

Once you have made your claim, mention Superior Abatement Services Inc. With over 100 years combined experience in the asbestos abatement industry and great working relationship with many major providers throughout California, we have the knowledge and skills to safely and effectively complete your abatement project on time and on budget.

For all your Asbestos Abatement and Hazardous Waste removal needs, Superior Abatement Services Inc. is here to help.

June 12, 2015

When Disaster Strikes!

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June 12, 2015
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serv-mitchIt’s common knowledge that asbestos is dangerous to your health. What may not be as well-known, however, is that when you suspect some building materials in your home or business contain asbestos, the best practice is often to leave them alone – provided that they aren’t damaged.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always an option. Sometimes, buildings are damaged by fire, flooding, earthquakes, or even human error. When that happens, it becomes necessary to remove the offending asbestos, because damaged building materials containing asbestos release harmful asbestos fibers to the air, when they cause numerous ailments.

For many, when a catastrophe happens, insurance steps in to help cover the bill- including for the removal and replacement of dangerously damaged asbestos-containing materials. As soon as you suspect damage to a building, call your insurance and make a claim immediately. Making a timely claim is important, because the faster the asbestos is removed, the smaller are the chances of adverse health effects.

Superior Abatement is happy to work with your contractor or adjuster to ensure that the asbestos in your home or business is removed quickly, professionally, and on budget. We have a working relationship with many of the major insurance companies in California, and because we maintain the proper licenses, certifications, and insurance, carriers are happy to utilize our services. We’ll also handle the negotiations and bill your carrier directly, eliminating headaches and saving you hours of paperwork.

Serv-ContaminationSuperior Abatement also helps building owners directly. When a building containing asbestos materials needs to be remodeled, safely dealing with those materials is a priority, because remodeling dust from asbestos-containing materials can be a health hazard. We work hard to make sure your project is done on time and on budget, with your satisfaction guaranteed.

If you need asbestos removed from your property, or if you’d simply like a quote, Superior Abatement Services is here to help. Remember, damaged asbestos is not only a health hazard, but could also be a violation of the law. So, if you suspect your home or business has damaged asbestos construction materials, please contact us immediately. You’ll be happy you did.

 

Asbestos
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June 1, 2015

Asbestos Removal Services

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June 1, 2015
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SASI-WarningsAsbestos is a group of six naturally occurring, fibrous minerals that have been mined and used since at least 2,500 BC. To ancient people, the fire resistant properties of asbestos seemed magical, and one of the primary modern uses of asbestos continues to be as a flame retardant. Additionally, the fibrous nature of asbestos made it an effective insulating material as well as lending strength to building materials such as cement.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the chief risk of asbestos exposure is found in the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Materials containing asbestos fibers can release those fibers over time, especially when damaged. These fibers are extremely small, and can easily be inhaled and make their way into the lungs, where they can cause a variety of dangerous conditions, most notably (but not limited to) mesothelioma.

The deleterious health effects of asbestos were noticed as early as Roman times, but the true danger of asbestos wasn’t fully appreciated until the middle of the 20th century. Unfortunately, by then the amazing properties of asbestos, combined with the relative ease and low cost with which it could be mined and used made asbestos an ubiquitous material in buildings and consumer goods.

Hazardous WasteBeginning in the 1970s, Congress and various regulatory agencies such as the EPA, the CPSC, and OSHA passed a series of laws and regulations designed to curtail the use of asbestos in America, but asbestos is not fully banned, and continues to be used in a variety of products in the United States. Additionally, these rules do not necessarily require the removal of existing asbestos materials in buildings. This means that in many buildings, especially those built before 1977, asbestos may be present in the construction materials, and thus may still continue to exist within the structure.

According to the CPSC, the following areas are the most common places asbestos may be located in in residential and commercial buildings: shingles and roofing tiles, insulation, textured compounds and wall and ceilings (such as popcorn and knockdown textures), drywall and drywall joint compounds, vinyl floor tiles and vinyl sheet flooring, around hot water heaters and pipes, and the walls and floors around wood-burning stoves.

The average person is not equipped to identify or safely remove asbestos in their home or business. Asbestos cannot be identified by the use of an unaided eye or a regular microscope. The only way to positively identify asbestos is through the use of special techniques, most notably Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) or Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Additionally, asbestos is most dangerous when disturbed or damaged, which releases the fibers and lofts them into the air, where they can be inhaled. For these reasons, asbestos identification and removal is best left to certified, licensed, and trained professionals.

Ceiling AcousticIf you suspect your home or business is contaminated with asbestos, the safest course of action is to leave it alone! However, in some cases, this cannot be avoided. When a house containing asbestos building materials is damaged by an earthquake, fire, flooding, or other accidents, or when a renovation or remodel is planned, asbestos removal becomes necessary. Asbestos abatement requires the services of properly-trained professionals.

Superior Abatement Services is southern California’s leader in asbestos removal, with over 100 years of combined experience in asbestos abatement. We serve all of the San Diego area, as well Orange County, Palm Springs, and the Imperial Valley. We work with many top insurance companies and contractors to ensure that asbestos removal is completed promptly in a cost-effective manner to the customer’s complete satisfaction.

Remember, the longer you allow toxic substances to exist on your property, the longer you are exposed to them, and the greater your chances for negative health effects. If you need asbestos, mold, or lead-based paint cleaned up and removed from your property, call Superior Abatement Services Inc. today!