Frequently Asked Questions

ASBESTOS

What is asbestos?

 Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals that are resistant to heat and corrosion. Asbestos has been used in products, such as insulation for pipes (steam lines for example), floor tiles, building materials, and in vehicle brakes and clutches. Asbestos includes the mineral fibers chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, actinolite and any of these materials that have been chemically treated or altered. Heavy exposures tend to occur in the construction industry and in ship repair, particularly during the removal of asbestos materials due to renovation, repairs, or demolition. 


What are the hazards of asbestos?

 Asbestos is well recognized as a health hazard and its use is now highly regulated by both OSHA and EPA. Asbestos fibers associated with these health risks are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Breathing asbestos fibers can cause a buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs called asbestosis and result in loss of lung function that often progresses to disability and death. Asbestos also causes cancer of the lung and other diseases such as mesothelioma of the pleura which is a fatal malignant tumor of the membrane lining the cavity of the lung or stomach. Epidemiologic evidence has increasingly shown that all asbestos fiber types, including the most commonly used form of asbestos, chrysotile, causes mesothelioma in humans. 


 What are the health risks if I have asbestos in my home, building, apartment, or school? 


 Asbestos that is in good condition and left undisturbed is unlikely to present a health risk. The risks from asbestos occur when it is damaged or disturbed where asbestos fibers become airborne and can be inhaled. Managing asbestos in place and maintaining it in good repair is often the best approach.


Was the use of asbestos banned?

NO.

The EPA announced a phased-in ban of most asbestos products, but it was never implemented.  Asbestos has not been banned and is still in uise in some countries. However in the USA, insurance, finance and litigation has virtually eliminated the use of asbestos in building materials.


My house was built in the 1980's or later and I know it has no asbestos; do I still have to have it surveyed?

Yes.  Regardless of the date of the building construction, and because of potential unknown renovations, AQMD Rule 1403 (d)(1)(A) requires an asbestos survey report prior to demolition to determine and verify the absence or presence of asbestos.


Where can I find information about asbestos removal or building demolition?

Forte' Environmental is a leader in the asbestos abatement / removal industry. One call to us at 877-FORTE-08 and of our technical staff can explain further.


Do I need to have an asbestos survey prior to any demolition or renovation?

Yes. An asbestos survey report signed by a Certified Asbestos Consultant is requires prior to any demolition or renovation per AQMD Rule 1403 (d)(1)(A)


What is a renovation?

 A renovation is altering a building or one or more building components in any way, including the stripping or removal of Regulated Asbestos Containing Materials (RACM) from a facility component. A renovation could be, but is not limited to, any interior renovation or remodel not affecting load-supporting structural members or a roof replacement 


What is a demolition?

 A demolition means the wrecking or taking out of any load-supporting structural member of a building together with any related handling operations. 


Who needs to file the Asbestos Removal or Demolition Notification forms(s) with the AQMD?

Forte' Environmental as the contractor who will remove the asbestos  and/or demolish the structure will handle all the necessary notifications.


I am a homeowner renovating my house; can I remove the asbestos myself from my house?

Only is you are the legal owner and a permanent resident of this house (single unit family dwelling) and you are PERSONALLY performing the asbestos removal (not employing a contractor or laborer, and not being helped by friends, family or anyone else. AQMD rule 1403 (j)(9)

There are no exemptions for owners of condominiums, townhouses, or apartments.

Due to health hazards and hazardous waste disposal requirements Forte' Environmental does not recommend that homeowners remove asbestos.

NOTE: AQMD Rule 1403 (f) requirements apply for asbestos waste disposal. 


LEAD


What is Lead poisoning?

 

When tiny lead particles enter the human body through inhalation or ingestion, the body mistakenly identifies them as calcium and therefore absorbs the toxic substance into bones, brain tissue and the kidneys. This poses a serious problem for young children and unborn babies whose nervous systems are brains are in rapid stages of development. Even low amounts of lead in the body can cause learning and developmental disabilities. Higher amounts of lead poisoning can damage the nervous system, kidneys, and other major organs. Very high exposures can cause seizures or death.

There is no known safe level of lead in the body. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious disabilities. Lead accumulates in the body and can cause lifelong learning and behavior problems.


What are common sources of Lead?