Asbestos testing and removal/abatement services from McLaughlin Environmental

Asbestos Is a Natural Mineral

Chrysotile - One of naturally-ocurring minerals commonly known as asbestos.

Asbestos refers to several naturally occurring minerals that are composed of thin, fibrous needle-like crystals. Asbestos has been widely used for its durability, high resistance to heat, and its use as an electrical insulator. However, over time it was discovered that asbestos is very dangerous with long-term exposure.

Asbestos can be found in many things, particularly building materials such as concrete, pipe insulation, fireproof drywall, floor tiles, roof shingles, window caulk, plaster and stucco, drywall compound, popcorn ceilings, HVAC duct insulation, and more. Despite known health concerns as early as the 1930s, asbestos was largely thought to be safe through the 1970s. It is believed that most buildings built before 1980 contain asbestos.

How Is Asbestos Dangerous?

The microscopic asbestos fibers, pictured here, are like tiny needles that can become embedded in the lungs or other tissues.

The key to the danger of asbestos lies in its fibrous structure. When disturbed, asbestos can shed thin, microscopic 'fibrils' that become airborne as asbestos dust. These tiny crystals are like needles and can be inhaled, becoming lodged in the tissue of the lungs or other organs. The fibers can remain in the tissue indefinitely, where they will irritate and damage the tissue over a long period. It may take decades for the symptoms to become noticeable.

The damage caused by asbestos fibers can even damage the DNA of the tissue, resulting in the development of cancerous tumors. One particular cancer is Mesothelioma, which is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos. Exposure can also cause other diseases such as Asbestosis and lung cancer.

While most of the developed world has banned the use of asbestos, and despite the known hazards of asbestos exposure, it has not been banned in the United States. However, its use is limited.

Testing for Asbestos

The only way to know whether or not your home has asbestos-containing materials is to have a Licensed Asbestos Contractor take samples for testing. Samples will be sent to a third-party laboratory for analysis. Samples are taken from several areas of the home, including the following:

  • Attic insulation
  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Floor tiles
  • Pipe insulation
  • Paint chips

Samples are sent to a third-party laboratory for testing to confirm the presence of asbestos and to assess the extent of the problem.

Removal/Abatement of Asbestos

For your peace of mind, we are insured and licensed in the removal of asbestos, and the asbestos removal will be performed following state and local regulations.

Because the problem with asbestos lies in the microscopic fibrils, safe removal can be a complex process involving extensive preparation and special equipment. The following are just some of the steps involved in proper asbestos abatement:

  • Enclosing and sealing contaminated areas
  • Control of airflow using negative air pressure units
  • Posting of warnings indicating dangers and requiring respirators and protective clothing
  • Disposal of asbestos-containing materials in special sealed containers
  • Asbestos waste must be disposed of in landfills that meet specific requirements

We offer NYS Licensed Asbestos Removal & Abatement Services in Albany and surrounding communities.

For asbestos testing and removal/abatement services give us a call at (518) 389-5449 or get your FREE estimate.