What is the deal with asbestos and why are so many people afraid of it? Essentially, asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring minerals that can be harmful to our health should we ingest its dust or fibers. Studies have shown that these needle-like fibers actually can lead to various health problems. In the 1970s, it was discovered that it can be a carcinogen that is used as a material for insulation and as a flame-retardant. However, it has been proven that asbestos on its own cannot actually harm you. It only becomes harmful when it is disturbed, causing the fibers to become airborne and increasing the possibility of it entering our bodies through our respiratory tract. Here at Iris Environmental Laboratories, we specialize in asbestos inspection for your NYC house and remediation services.
Testing for Asbestos
As mentioned above, asbestos-containing materials are not harmful if they are not disturbed or damged. However, it would only be wise to find out if there are any such materials in your home. As such, it is advisable to conduct testing and inspection for the floors and ceilings of your NYC home before furnishing it. This would not only grant you peace of mind, but allows you to be in line with city regulations of disclosing whether asbestos is present in your house. Furthermore, it is also beneficial to test an apartment for asbestos before deciding to purchase it. It is a fact that sellers are not responsible for informing buyers whether their property contain any asbestos. Therefore, the power lies in our hands.
Where Can You Find Asbestos in Your House?
Generally, asbestos is used for insulation. Thus, it is common to find asbestos in heating systems. People have found asbestos on their boilers and pipes. However, asbestos can also be found in tiling around the house and even wall plaster. It can even exist in the pipes in your building’s boiler room and act as insulation for the riser pipes that are used for transporting hot water. Since it can be such a common occurrence, it is best that you conduct asbestos testing so that you focus on your next best course of action.
How Should My Building Management Handle this?
It is common for older buildings to mandate that their owners remove any trace of asbestos before selling their property. However, your management company should be responsible for being the middle man between you and your contractor. They should be the ones to ensure that any construction or renovation should abide by NYC codes and expedite the abatement process. If your building is conducting asbestos removal, it is required that you notify all the residents about the dates of removal and that the process is in line with the building codes of NYC. If you are renting a place to live in, your landlord is not required to tell you if there is any asbestos in the home, but they are still required to inform you of any abatement processes, pay for all the costs, and follow the protocol that is set in this city.