There are a number of asbestos abatement procedures, set by both the federal government and the Michigan DEP. This includes mandatory training courses and contractor licensing. All others must receive accreditation in order to perform asbestos abatement. This tight regulation helps keep the potentially lucrative asbestos abatement business from spiraling out of control and ensures that the highly toxic asbestos does not lead to secondary contamination of homes and other buildings. Asbestos can be even more dangerous when it is abated improperly.
Michigan asbestos abatement procedures for friable material
Friable material is material that easily breaks with minimal force and human contact is usually sufficient. The danger of this material is that by nature, when it crumbles it will release tiny asbestos particles that will cause illnesses decades later. Friable asbestos containing material is at least 1% asbestos by weight.
Encapsulation is one possible solution in the Michigan asbestos abatement procedures, as this allows for a sealant to prevent further fibers from breaking loose. As long as the sealant is intact, there is no danger. This is an option for renovation and general asbestos abatement. For demolitions however, you must remove as asbestos containing materials, including non-friable materials.
The alternative to encapsulation is careful removal by wetting the material. Wetting is considered the accepted way to get rid of friable asbestos, as when it is waterlogged there is no danger of having more materials spread. The soaked asbestos is scraped from the surface and any debris are dispatched with vacuum containing a very fine HEPA filter. The wet material will need to be sealed and disposed at an acceptable Michigan solid waste disposal site. The contractor generally has to send advance notice before disposing of friable asbestos containing materials.
Michigan asbestos abatement procedures for non-friable material
Non-friable material can be left inside the structure if it is a renovation. This is because the asbestos is sealed inside and cannot be released. If the renovation is directly linked to the contaminated material, it must be removed. There is a separate classification for non-friable materials that may crumble as this is as dangerous as friable materials. Almost all non-friable material must be removed before a demolition.
Where is asbestos in buildings?
Asbestos insulation, including the now infamous Zonolite branded insulation material will be found in many Michigan homes. All of these applications are considered non-friable as the layer of friable asbestos is safely locked in indurate applications or layers. There is the risk of damaging these materials and releasing asbestos fibers and the inspector or contractor will be able to advise you on the best possible course of action when dealing with this form of asbestos.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality must receive notification of any action to demolish or renovate a structure. This includes asbestos abatement. The notification for, which is usually required 10 working days before the construction beings, will ask about the nature of the asbestos that will be removed, estimates at the amount to be abated and which licensed contractor will perform the asbestos abatement.