If you discover asbestos in your kitchen while remodeling, it is important that you take action immediately. Exposure to asbestos is very dangerous. When you breathe in asbestos dust and fibers, they can lodge in your lungs and other organs and lead to various diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Though symptoms of these diseases may not appear for decades, eventually they can be debilitating and deadly. Here are some steps you should take to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.
Even before the extent of the asbestos danger is confirmed, do what you can to avoid exposure to dangerous asbestos dust. Stay out of the kitchen area until professionals have safely dealt with the danger. Close it off from the rest of the house to avoid tracking dust from room to room. If dust has already penetrated into other areas, do not sweep, dust or vacuum the debris, as this may send it into the air and you may breathe it in. Using disposable gloves, clean surfaces with a wet cloth and floors with a wet mop.
Have an Inspection
Be sure that any asbestos professionals you hire have federal or state certification. It is always best to hire an inspector and a corrective-action contractor separately to avoid a conflict of interest. An asbestos inspector should conduct a visual examination of the area and collect samples of materials for lab analysis. Upon completion of the inspection and analysis, you should receive a written evaluation that details the extent of the asbestos damage and the inspector’s recommendations on how to correct it.
Hire a Corrective-Action Contractor
Your options in repairing asbestos damage are either to cover the asbestos-containing materials, or to remove the asbestos. Both of these jobs have to be done by asbestos professionals who have the respirators, gloves, protective clothing, equipment and experience to handle the asbestos safely. When asbestos-containing material is covered or sealed, it remains in place, but is unable to release dust or fibers. This may work if the damage is not too extensive and can be easily contained. Removing the asbestos is far more time-consuming and costly. However, it may be necessary during remodeling because of extensive disturbance of asbestos-containing materials. Before the contractor begins work, have a written contract that specifies the steps that will be taken to perform the work, the cleanup that will be done afterwards, and the safety precautions that will be observed while the work is carried out. Be sure the contractor tightly seals off the work area from the rest of the house.
Contact a Lawyer
Another necessary step is to contact a lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases can devastate a family, and a lawsuit enables you to receive compensation to help with medical bills and other expenses.
In the past, asbestos was used extensively in construction and other industries due to its properties of heat and fire resistance. If you live in an older home, it is possible that parts of it were built with asbestos-containing materials, and it is safer to hire a professional asbestos inspector before you begin any repairs or remodeling.
This article was written on behalf of Shrader and Associates LLP, your number one choice when looking for trusted mesothelioma lawyers. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!