Asbestos is a hazardous material that was commonly used in building insulation, flooring, roofing, and other construction materials until the 1970s. Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause serious health problems, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. If you suspect that your home or building contains asbestos, it is important to hire a certified asbestos professional to assess the situation and safely handle any asbestos materials.
Here are the steps you can take to find a certified asbestos professional in your area:
Check with your state or local environmental agency: Many states have their own environmental agencies that regulate asbestos abatement and removal. Contact your state or local agency to find out if they have a list of certified asbestos professionals in your area. These agencies may also be able to provide information on the proper handling and disposal of asbestos-containing materials.
Search online directories: There are several online directories that list certified asbestos professionals, such as the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website. These directories may allow you to search for professionals by location, certification type, and other criteria.
Ask for referrals: If you know someone who has had asbestos removed from their home or business, ask them if they can recommend a certified asbestos professional. You can also ask for referrals from local building contractors or home inspectors.
Check for certifications: When you have a list of potential asbestos professionals, it is important to check their certifications. The EPA requires asbestos professionals to be trained and certified in asbestos abatement and removal. Look for professionals who hold certifications from organizations such as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), or the EPA.
Request a written estimate: Once you have narrowed down your list of potential asbestos professionals, ask for a written estimate for the cost of the abatement or removal. This estimate should include a detailed description of the work to be done, the materials to be removed, and the safety precautions that will be taken.
Check for insurance: Before hiring an asbestos professional, make sure they have liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. This will protect you from any damages or injuries that may occur during the abatement or removal process.
Ask for references: Finally, ask for references from previous clients. A reputable asbestos professional should be able to provide you with references and testimonials from satisfied customers.
In summary, finding a certified asbestos professional in your area requires research and due diligence. Checking with state and local environmental agencies, searching online directories, asking for referrals, checking for certifications and insurance, requesting a written estimate, and asking for references are all important steps to take before hiring an asbestos professional. By taking these steps, you can ensure that the professional you choose is qualified, experienced, and able to safely handle any asbestos materials in your home or building.