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Old 02-28-2010, 02:52 PM   #1
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


Hi Folks.

Some questions concerning asbestos and how to get rid of it.


We have asbestos insulation in the attic.

We did an extensive bathroom renovation which required removing and replacing the ceiling. While i tried to physically remove the majority of the asbestos off the bathroom ceiling (up in the attic) before we pulled it down, there is still a lingering concern that some of it might still be here, floating around.

My family is currently staying in another house at the moment. They have come over briefly, but during quiet times...no active demolition etc.

There is a fine layer of dust on everything it seems.

Some of it is ashes from the fireplace (lost power this winter so I burned some logs, a few of which were smokier than Id like) and some of the dust is from carpentry work...sawdust. Some of it is from pulverized cement from the bathroom walls and floor coming down (its a 50s house).

And some of it, I am concerned, may be asbestos dust.


What Im looking for is realistic information regarding how much asbestos insulation dust is a serious concern??? In other words, do the fibers stick in fabrics like our sofa? Fortunately there arent many piece of furniture with fabric coverings, just a sofa. We are having a crew of family come over to wipe down things, clean up...dust off. I will insist they wear masks.

I will hire an asbestos crew to clean up the attic, but Ive got a baby coming in a week and Ive got to get this place ready.

Note, that I will be sealing off the attic so no fibers escape downward.

Assuming every bloody surface in the livable areas is wiped down....would my family generally be safe? Certainly there wont be any dust clouds floating around when they return. We will use wet wipes to dust off things in the near future to be certain any loose fibers get picked up.

(Im looking for advice and serious educated thoughts, and I dont hold anyones advice any more than just advice).


Admin/mods....I wasnt sure where to post this question. Please feel free to migrate it if necessary, please let me know where though. Thanks


Drew


Last edited by Dyoung; 02-28-2010 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:06 PM   #2
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


The only legitimate piece of advice that I can offer. Don't touch any of that stuff. Especially, DON'T BRING ANY CHILDREN INTO THE HOUSE before you have an accredited Asbestos abatement expert handle your problem. And ONLY upon their approval bring anyone in to live there. You made a serious error in handling it yourself, thereby risking your own health. Don't compound the problem. Even though from your writing it's obvious that you're in the U.K. (or, you hail from there.) I'm sure that the same common-sense regulations apply there, too. Even though experts have determined that the biggest danger in Asbestos is, when it circulates in the air, by shaking it you cause much harm.!

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Old 02-28-2010, 03:18 PM   #3
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


What kind of heat ? Forced HW or hot air...or ?
Do a search on this site for asbestos
There have been a number of threads where people have posted links for information
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:12 PM   #4
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


Sparkplug,

Actually I live in Maryland, USA (but I teach Medieval history, so you picked up on something . I plan on having pros come out but its a big cost and frankly I cant afford it now. We didnt realize we had asbestos insulation as it was covered by plywood and planks in the attic.

--Nobody was in the house when we uncovered pulled the ceiling down.

--Nobody is in the house now.

--I have some friends coming over to do a thorough wipe down and we have kept the attic off limits.

________________________________

Scuba_Dave,

We have oil heat via furnace.

I had done some net searching but dont seem to find much in the way of local companies in Maryland/Virginia/DC that clean remove it.....which I found strange. Illl search here again, see what I can find.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:42 PM   #5
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


In the 70's I was in the employ of our local university, when asbestos danger was identified!
Very strict rules were established for the safe removal or encapsulation of asbestos!
The area to be cleaned had to be sealed against migration of the asbestos to other area's. The area had to be kept at a negative pressure as well. This was achieved by using an exhaust fan that exhausted through HEPA filters!
A HEPA air scrubber was used inside, to keep the ambient air clean.
The workers had to be dressed in full body cover-alls and wore air respirators ( not paper dust masks )
Industrial vacuum cleaners with suitable filters were required as well!
At the end of the day, coveralls were disposed of, along with the removed asbestos!
The workers clothing was sent to a commercial laundry to be washed, to avoid exposure of families to asbestos dust!

This is why asbestos removal is so expensive!

A few years later, I happened to be working as a contractor at a different place. I was asked to assist with some work in an area that was under renovation. When I entered, asbestos was flying all about. I warned the fellows working there (electricians), but I was scoffed at.
Sadly, each and everyone of these fellows died from lung cancer a few years later!

In my area, we have laws stating that buildings with a hazardous environment must be disclosed by the vendor and the real estate agent.
If you have such laws where you live, you could possibly make a claim for the cost of safe removal of the asbestos.

I would advise you to talk to legal counsel and do not go any further with your renovation until your place has been cleaned of asbestos properly!
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:24 PM   #6
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


Well we did have paper particulate masks and were careful to move the stuff slowly and methodically.

I dont want to give the impression there were clouds of the stuff everywhere, let alone clouds of it at all. When we took the ceiling down, we had already physically moved the majority of the stuff off, so when pulling it down, it was generally free of it. In our living area there are no clouds of anything, never really were unless it was sawdust.

We also had a fan in the bathroom window.

I think the longest I was exposed to it, was a few minutes at most and most often with a mask. Nothing long term.

And the area is now sealed off. We spent much of today wiping surfaces down, mostly just regular dust.


____________________

I got to thinking.....what about concrete walls and flooring (especially for a bathroom). The house was built in 1959. Ive read some things that talk about concrete having asbestos, but Im not sure what Im looking for. It has that wire mesh behind it from the baseboard height down and cement/plaster walls and ceiling above????


Still I will get a crew in there to clean up the attic. I agree totally.


Wildie, Id bet that crew of guys did a lot of demolition around asbestos. From what Im reading/researching, its nothing to screw around with but it does take a fairly concentrated amount over weeks and months to cause cancer or mesothelioma. At most we dealt with it for few minutes here and there and there were never any 'clouds,' I was very careful about not doing that.

Last edited by Dyoung; 02-28-2010 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:36 PM   #7
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


How do you know there was asbestos insulation in the attic? You make no mention that you had it tested. Determining the presence of asbestos requires evaluation by a qualified laboratory, you cannot determine if a specific type of insulation has asbestos in it or not by visual determination alone. You need to get the material tested. If it is asbestos containing, and you believe you may have spread it throughout the house, you then need to get the house tested. Friable asbestos is well known to be a medical hazard, and use of paper masks may not be adequate to prevent exposure.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:15 PM   #8
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


I am very curious what you ended up doing with your asbestos problem. We had a similar kind of thing, but asbestos may have been in the wall. We were channelling out the wall to lay electrical wires. I called an asbestos removal company. Their guys didn't even have dust masks when they came in. Its my understanding that it takes a fairly constant exposure before asbestos harms people. Currently, we are waiting for tests to see if the material is asbestos. Hopefully no, but I am not holding my breath!
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:29 AM   #9
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


baby must have arrived on time. i sure hope it isn't asbestos, or that at least he gets a pro to help out.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:19 AM   #10
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyoung View Post
Well we did have paper particulate masks and were careful to move the stuff slowly and methodically.

I dont want to give the impression there were clouds of the stuff everywhere, let alone clouds of it at all. When we took the ceiling down, we had already physically moved the majority of the stuff off, so when pulling it down, it was generally free of it. In our living area there are no clouds of anything, never really were unless it was sawdust.

We also had a fan in the bathroom window.

I think the longest I was exposed to it, was a few minutes at most and most often with a mask. Nothing long term.

And the area is now sealed off. We spent much of today wiping surfaces down, mostly just regular dust.


____________________

I got to thinking.....what about concrete walls and flooring (especially for a bathroom). The house was built in 1959. Ive read some things that talk about concrete having asbestos, but Im not sure what Im looking for. It has that wire mesh behind it from the baseboard height down and cement/plaster walls and ceiling above????


Still I will get a crew in there to clean up the attic. I agree totally.


Wildie, Id bet that crew of guys did a lot of demolition around asbestos. From what Im reading/researching, its nothing to screw around with but it does take a fairly concentrated amount over weeks and months to cause cancer or mesothelioma. At most we dealt with it for few minutes here and there and there were never any 'clouds,' I was very careful about not doing that.

Paper masks do nothing against asbestos, asbestos fibers are so small they will go right through the mask
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:05 PM   #11
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


Update: Its believed to be rock wool.

We are sending in a sample to a testing company, but even they are pretty sure its rock wool with little to no asbestos. Either way we are sealing off the attic for a while and will get it removed this summer.

As for the masks, I have read that some quality paper masks do guard against it. Its entirely based on the weave and type.
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:42 PM   #12
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


This is my OWN personel opinion, hopefully it will offer you some peice of mind. First off i work in the plumbing mechanical industry where asbestos is prevelent. I am not by any means advocating that asbestos is not a hazard. But what I do know from a laymens point of view is that since it invention up untill the 1970's when it was deamed to be harmfull, The construction industry made everything they could out of it. (insulation, floor tile, shingles, construction adhesives, siding) etc. etc. It was a wonder product, all around us. There have been no documented case of asbestos related illness outside of the industrial industry. (boilermakers, shipyard workers)and such. Think about it with all the asbestos that surrounded us for all those years, How many people do you now who have contracted an asbestoes related illness?
But I also smoke.
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:47 PM   #13
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


Quote:
We are sending in a sample to a testing company, but even they are pretty sure its rock wool with little to no asbestos. Either way we are sealing off the attic for a while and will get it removed this summer.
It's perfectly Fine insulation,..... Why would you Remove it,..??
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:51 PM   #14
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


Quote:
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It's perfectly Fine insulation,..... Why would you Remove it,..??
Indeed, however we store things in the attic and are also thinking of adding a second story to the house. Id sooner modernize the insulation anyway.
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:53 PM   #15
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ASBESTOS..... lots of questions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by just a guy View Post
This is my OWN personel opinion, hopefully it will offer you some peice of mind. First off i work in the plumbing mechanical industry where asbestos is prevelent. I am not by any means advocating that asbestos is not a hazard. But what I do know from a laymens point of view is that since it invention up untill the 1970's when it was deamed to be harmfull, The construction industry made everything they could out of it. (insulation, floor tile, shingles, construction adhesives, siding) etc. etc. It was a wonder product, all around us. There have been no documented case of asbestos related illness outside of the industrial industry. (boilermakers, shipyard workers)and such. Think about it with all the asbestos that surrounded us for all those years, How many people do you now who have contracted an asbestoes related illness?
But I also smoke.

You do touch on some good points insofar as its prevalence in so many things. I think the question is its 'fryability" as loose near microscopic particles.

Some people may also have a predisposition to its potential ailments. Why do some who smoke never get cancer? Similar idea.

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