Asbestos encapsulation can be used to safely contain asbestos that is found in older buildings.
While the use of asbestos has sharply declined throughout the U.S. as the health risks that are associated with the material are now widely known, older structures and buildings may still contain it. Accordingly, asbestos encapsulation is an important step professional asbestos services take to ensure that the potentially hazardous material is safely contained.
Asbestos is a bundle of naturally occurring minerals. Because it is resistant to heat, certain chemicals and electricity, it has been used in various ways since the late 19th century. A common use of asbestos was as insulation or fireproofing.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) both classify asbestos as a carcinogen, as studies show that exposure to the substance increase one’s chances of developing various kinds of cancer. All new uses of asbestos were banned by the EPA in 1989.
Asbestos encapsulation is the process of spraying asbestos with a sealant. This contains it and eliminates the risk of exposure by preventing any potentially dangerous fibers from becoming airborne. The sealants must be tested and approved by the EPA, and only trained professionals wearing special breathing apparatuses should apply the coating. Asbestos encapsulation is only a viable alternative to outright removal of the material if the asbestos has not deteriorated and is located where it won’t be disturbed.