Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral and is an excellent and inexpensive fire retardant. As such, it was added to many building products or asbestos containing materials (ACM) to make them perform better, with peak use between the 1940s through the 1970s. Asbestos is a hazardous material and a known carcinogen. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, home owners, landlords, and contractors must perform testing or site surveys prior to disturbing any building materials or demolishing buildings that may contain asbestos. Although most people are aware of the potential for asbestos content in popcorn ceiling, vinyl tiles, and pipe insulation; any building material that is not made of wood, metal, or glass may contain asbestos. An Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) accredited inspector will help you determine the appropriate sampling plan and protocol to ensure that you protect yourself from health impacts and liabilities without wasting money on abating unnecessary materials. Any time you are remodeling, demolishing, repairing or otherwise disturbing materials that may contain asbestos, an asbestos inspection is required. Asbestos inspections are not part of a Phase I ESA. Unfortunately, building owners and contractors are often unaware of the needs for asbestos inspections until late in the project.
Why is Asbestos Bad? Asbestos exposure to humans is through inhalation. Asbestos minerals are made of tiny abrasive fibers which can be inhaled into the lungs where they can damage the lung tissue and have been known to cause mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer.
GRI conducts certified asbestos inspections and testing and has a staff of AHERA certified inspectors. Asbestos inspections may also be conducted concurrently with lead-based paint inspections and mold inspections, to ensure proper abatement and mitigation during demolition, retrofitting, repair work, and renovation activities.
GRI has performed over 150 asbestos inspections to assist clients in developing building renovation and demolition plans.