Asbestos and Your Business: The Law

While specific laws will vary between states, it's important to have a general idea about the legality of asbestos in your business's building.  If you find asbestos there, it may well be your legal responsibility to have it removed, and this guide aims to help you ascertain when that's the case and how to go about doing it if so.

Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?

If there has been asbestos in your building for some time now and it has only just been discovered, you may wonder what the purpose of having it removed is.  It may feel like an unnecessary expenditure; how can it be that bad if it's been there for so long?  However, asbestos removal is best for your health and the health of your employees and customers.  The varying types of asbestos have all been identified as carcinogens and can seriously affect your lung health.  As for the length of time it's already been there, asbestos is dangerous only when disturbed, as disturbance allows the harmful materials to be released into the air.  This is why it's vital to have it removed immediately.

Can I Do It Myself?

As it's such a dangerous material, asbestos may only be removed by licensed companies, and you should not attempt it yourself.  There are two categories of removal companies.  Class B companies may only remove non-friable asbestos, and Class A companies may remove both friable and non-friable asbestos.  If you're not sure which kind has been found in your building, you should have a survey conducted to ensure you know what you're dealing with.

Is It Worth Removing Even if Legal?

In some cases, it may be acceptable to ensure that the building containing asbestos is properly maintained instead of fully renovated to remove the asbestos.  However, if it's a cost you can afford, you should certainly consider having it removed anyway.  Even maintaining a material this dangerous is risky; in the event of extreme weather or fire, the building could be a huge hazard to health.  Accidents do happen, and it's best to be prepared. Equally, it means you won't have any problems in the future with selling or renovating the property.

In short, while it may be frustrating to have to deal with an expense you weren't expecting, it's definitely not an unworthy cause.  Contact an asbestos removal expert as soon as possible, and you'll be restored to a safe and comfortable work environment for you, your employees and customers in no time.