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Legal guidance regarding the use of asbestos? Yes. Here’s why.

| Sep 6, 2016 | Environmental Law |

There are many differences between the development and construction procedures 50 years ago and the procedures today.

Up until just a few decades ago, for instance, asbestos was commonly used in the construction of buildings and homes across Georgia. The material was relatively inexpensive with fire-proofing qualities that were highly desirable in construction. But today, we know that exposure to asbestos can cause devastating illnesses.

For this reason, the way asbestos is used, handled and disposed of is strictly regulated by various environmental agencies.

Developers and those in the construction trade should take caution when asbestos is involved in any way.

Using asbestos

Though asbestos is no longer widely used in the construction of things like homes, it is not completely banned in the U.S. This means that you can still find products made with this fiber. However, it must be properly labeled in order to be used and there are limits on which types of products can and cannot contain asbestos.

Handling asbestos

Asbestos is most harmful in friable form, meaning it can be broken up by hand. Because of this, anyone exposed to friable asbestos should take extra precautions to protect themselves. Wearing gloves, coveralls, masks and respiratory equipment will be necessary.

Disposing of asbestos-containing materials

If you are disposing of materials that contain asbestos, like insulation, floor tiles or old plumbing, you cannot just heap this toxic material into the trash. Asbestos must be wetted down, sealed up in approved containment systems, labeled and delivered to an approved facility for disposal. Precautions must also be taken to clean the air during and after asbestos removal and ensure water supplies are not contaminated.

Considering the fact that exposure to asbestos can be toxic, it is not a surprise that there are so many rules and regulations when it comes to using, handling and disposing of it.

Failure to comply with these rules can land a party in serious trouble. Fines can be ordered, lawsuits can be filed and the damage to the environment could be irreversible.

Seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney before commencing any project is advised to mitigate any potential consequences.

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