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Old 07-07-2017, 08:55 PM   #1
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Possible Asbestos Removal Done Improperly


Hi all,

A little freaked out right now. Long story short--today was part one of two days to remove asbestos contaminated vermiculite in my attic. The goal is to get it reinsulated to improve energy efficiency of the home. I hired an abatement company--he is licensed and EPA certified. Seemed very trustworthy and has numerous online reviews--mostly for mold abatement but he also does asbestos. Here are the concerns I have about how the abatement is being done so far:

1. There was a negative air machine that was placed downstairs and wasn't attached to anything or directed outside. The removal occurred upstairs in the attic.
2. The team moved the asbestos in bags up and down the stairs-pieces vermiculite was visible. No plastic was placed on the stairs and the upstairs hall was not enclosed either.
3. The workers were going in and out the front door, sometimes in the disposable coveralls and sometimes not (and with/without the masks).
4. When they finished for the day the contractor asked me to come up stairs to view the work. I assumed that it would be safe (and he assured me that it was). When I got up there dust was visible in the air. I asked about it and he stated that it was just regular dust and to not be concerned (only breaking apart the pieces of vermiculite would cause a problem). His logic seemed off to me.
5. He left the upstairs AC unit on. I asked about this as well. He told me the AC was "self contained" and that it wasn't a concern.
6. Vermiculite fell through the AC vents as well as a ceiling fan upstairs into the bedrooms. He did not seal off these holes with plastic from below.

This all leaves me feeling very uneasy and worried that he is cutting corners. I'm not certain if my house is even safe but the contractor assures me it is. PLEASE HELP--what should I do? He's coming back on Sunday to finish the job. Thanks is advance! -Aaron
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:21 AM   #2
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Re: Possible Asbestos Removal Done Improperly


I'm not certified in asbestos abatement but from your description what is being done does not sound correct. Take a lot of pictures since they are currently not there.

he was probably correct that the dust you saw was not asbestos, because asbestos fibers can only be seen under a microscope.

The depressurization fan needed to be drawing air directly from the attic, filtering it, and then blowing the cleaned air outside, not sitting in the middle of the floor downstairs. Sounds like he was just using it as an air filter.

Being a weekend will be difficult but you need someone with the knowledge and authority to review what is being done and shut him down if possible. Try your local inspector or the EPA office. Again it will be hard to reach anyone on a weekend so try them all.

If everything is as bad as described at the least the entire house will need to be decontaminated and IMO, no one should be living there currently.

Is there anyone in line to inspect his work or test the house after the work is done, hopefully not him.

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Old 07-08-2017, 07:53 AM   #3
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Re: Possible Asbestos Removal Done Improperly


Nothing about what was done is correct so far.

The concerns about asbestos are largely overstated in my opinion, but this was done incorrectly and they should have to clean the home as a minimum and have it inspected.
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Old 07-24-2017, 12:08 PM   #4
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Re: Possible Asbestos Removal Done Improperly


I know this question is late in the game but was the material tested and verified to have asbestos in it? I had some floor tiles in a previous home that everyone told me were asbestos tiles but I had them tested and it turned out they were not. I am sure you would hate to find out you paid for abatement you didn't need but it might alleviate your concern about the shoddy work.

I used this for testing
http://www.asbestostesting.com/
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:07 AM   #5
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Hi! Just wondering what came of this. I have a similar situation and wondering how yours was handled. Thanks!
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:28 AM   #6
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Re: Possible Asbestos Removal Done Improperly


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Originally Posted by Windows on Wash View Post
Nothing about what was done is correct so far.

The concerns about asbestos are largely overstated in my opinion, but this was done incorrectly and they should have to clean the home as a minimum and have it inspected.

I agree that asbestos concerns are over hyped. With the exception of a few people, most of those with asbestos related health problems had a lifetime of exposure. The odds are you have nothing to worry about health wise.
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:05 AM   #7
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Re: Possible Asbestos Removal Done Improperly


If the negative air machine had HEPA filters, then the air is probably safe.

The contractor is correct that only breaking apart of asbestos fibers can cause a problem. Asbestos is not radioactive. It is not inherently bad for you. It's bad if it is friable and it is disturbed and you inhale it.
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:16 AM   #8
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Re: Possible Asbestos Removal Done Improperly


The negative air machine, being outside the abatement area, would only serve to bring the fibers into what should have been a clean area. That would be fundamentally wrong from the start.

Without knowing how the bags were sealed or wiped down, that could also be incorrect.

They make smaller negative air machines that will fit into and attic and maintain proper dust migration negative pressures.

Again...is it as bad as the attorneys (i.e. the only ones that get paid) have hyped it...no. Does this job sound (without more pertinent details and pictures) sound like it had some gaps in it...yes.

Without seeing the site or the set up, its impossible to say how and what was done improperly and if anything at all.
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asbestos , asbestos exposure????? , asbestos removal , insulation attic , vermiculite


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