Nebraska is a state with lower rates of asbestos related illnesses than the rest of the country. Still, as in all states, there is a real risk to those that continually working with asbestos or asbestos related products. In addition, asbestos in the home can be a serious source of contamination and high concentrations almost certainly cause harmful illnesses. Power plant and construction workers are the most at risk and workers in some factories, including the vermiculite plant supplied with contaminated ore from Libby, Montana, will have a higher than average chance of developing lung cancer.
Asbestos in the workplace
Asbestos was used as an insulating material in the workplace due to its heat resistant properties. Like glass, asbestos does not burn, it merely disintegrates with extreme heat. The issue however, it that the insulation will erode with time and in the process release thousands of trapped fibers. In contained areas, such as power plants and mines, the concentration of asbestos fibers will be very high. Many power plants in Nebraska use this insulation and the workers should have their health monitored regularly. The occupational safety and health administration has set specific rules for dealing with dangerous asbestos contamination in the workplace and this is reflected in Nebraska asbestos laws.
Nebraska asbestos law enforcement
The Department of Health and Human Services for Nebraska handles the licensing of asbestos professionals and the collection of permits. These permits analyze the information given to determine if the scheduled demolition or renovation on large structures may proceed. Generally, smaller structures such as homes need not apply for permit, but an inspector licensed by the state can identify potential spots that are exposed and recommend the proper abatement procedure to prevent further exposure.
Asbestos and structure demolition
Almost all demolitions of structures containing asbestos have the potential to release harmful fibers, which is why even non-friable material that may crumble must be removed from the structure prior to demolition. This is complicated when homes and other structures are damaged or destroyed due to flooding or tornados. To facilitate cleanup and prevent unnecessary exposure, the DHHS will expedite demolition permits and direct disposal efforts to minimize the window that residents risk inhaling fibers from destroyed properties.
Can I remove asbestos on my own?
You may remove asbestos in your own residence without notifying the DHHS or asbestos removal regulations. Be aware this increases the chance of contaminating yourself and others. Improper removal will cause the inhalation of thousands of asbestos fibers, as dry asbestos is highly friable and can be broken apart with very little force. Be aware that you must also adhere to all regulations related to the proper and safe disposal of asbestos containing materials.