As the flood waters eventually begin to recede some property owners who venture back into their homes and businesses will discover water damaged properties and ruined belongings. Fortunately many of the water damaged properties can be saved with proper and extensive water extraction and mold remediation and prevention techniques. Damaged properties not only have to deal with water damage issues, but also environmental concerns ranging from asbestos, mold growth, sewage contamination and chemical contaminants from the flood waters.
Most products made today do not contain asbestos. Those few products made which still contain asbestos that could be inhaled are required to be labeled as such. However, until the 1970s, many types of building products and insulation materials used in homes contained asbestos. Common products that might have contained asbestos in the past, and conditions which may release fibers, include:
• STEAM PIPES, BOILERS, and FURNACE DUCTS insulated with an asbestos blanket or asbestos paper tape. These materials may release asbestos fibers if damaged, repaired, or removed improperly.
• RESILIENT FLOOR TILES (vinyl asbestos, asphalt, and rubber), the backing on VINYL SHEET FLOORING, and ADHESIVES used for installing floor tile. Sanding tiles can release fibers. So may scraping or sanding the backing of sheet flooring during removal.
• CEMENT SHEET, MILLBOARD, and PAPER used as insulation around furnaces and woodburning stoves. Repairing or removing appliances may release asbestos fibers. So may cutting, tearing, sanding, drilling or sawing insulation.
• DOOR GASKETS in furnaces, wood stoves, and coal stoves. Worn seals can release asbestos fibers during use.
• SOUNDPROOFING OR DECORATIVE MATERIAL sprayed on walls and ceilings. Loose, crumbly, or water-damaged material may release fibers. So will sanding, drilling or scraping the material.
• PATCHING AND JOINT COMPOUNDS for walls and ceilings, and TEXTURED PAINTS. Sanding, scraping, or drilling these surfaces may release asbestos.
• ASBESTOS CEMENT ROOFING, SHINGLES, and SIDING. These products are not likely to release asbestos fibers unless sawed, drilled or cut.
• ARTIFICIAL ASHES AND EMBERS sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces. Also, other older household products such as FIREPROOF GLOVES, STOVE-TOP PADS, IRONING BOARD COVERS, and certain HAIRDRYERS.
• AUTOMOBILE BRAKE PADS AND LININGS, CLUTCH FACINGS, and GASKETS.
About EMSL Analytical
EMSL Analytical has been preparing their laboratory facilities, including the facility located directly in Atlanta, to help area residents. “We have geared up our local laboratory and our other 32 plus regional testing facilities and four service centers to be able to offer all of the asbestos, microbial, sewage indicator and chemical tests that will be needed by victims of the flooding to ensure they have a safe environment to return to,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President at EMSL Analytical.
EMSL has been offering testing services following natural and manmade disasters since its inception in 1981. For more information on testing services and products provided by EMSL please call (800) 220-3675, visit www.emsl.com