Asbestos Spills are Dangerous, Illegal, and Completely Preventable

There is no safe level of asbestos exposure, which is why the strict rules and regulations are put in place by the State of Colorado and enforced by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE). Scientific studies have shown that exposure to asbestos has been linked to several different diseases, including but not limited to; Mesothelioma, Asbestosis, and various types of cancer including ovarian, lung, and laryngeal. Once asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed, asbestos fibers are released into the air and are easily inhaled once they become airborne. Asbestos accumulates in the body each time you are exposed to the fibers, and once the damage is done, there is no way to reverse it. 

What is an asbestos spill? Colorado Regulation 8 defines an asbestos spill as “a disturbance of friable asbestos-containing materials (ACM) greater than the trigger levels. This also pertains to materials that are or will be rendered friable during the remodel/remediation/demolition process. Anytime an asbestos-containing material is improperly damaged or disturbed, there is a potential for an asbestos spill. The only safe and legal way to remove asbestos is to have an asbestos abatement completed by a certified asbestos abatement contractor. Asbestos spills are when an asbestos-containing material has been improperly damaged or disturbed and the asbestos fibers have been released into the environment. Asbestos spills are extremely dangerous, as breathing asbestos fibers can have serious affects on your health.

There are two types of spills, a Major Spill, and a Minor Spill. A Minor Spill is when less than the trigger levels of asbestos-containing materials are disturbed, and a major spill is when greater than the trigger levels are disturbed. For single-family residential dwellings, the trigger levels are as follows: 32 SQ FT, 50 Linear feet, or the volume equivalent of a 55-gallon drum. When a major spill occurs, a spill delineation is required to delineate the extent of the spill, otherwise, the whole property must be included in the spill clean-up asbestos abatement. For more information, take a look at this article where a Colorado family loses everything in an asbestos spill: We are now required to report all major spills to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) within 24 hours of the spill being identified, once the CDPHE is involved they will require that warning signs be posted, access will be restricted to the property, a Spill delineation must be completed, otherwise, the whole property will be considered contaminated and must be included in the spill clean-up/abatement. 

What is a friable material? Friable asbestos includes asbestos-containing materials that are easily crumbled or crushed into a powder. Conversely, the pressure of a human hand won’t cause non-friable materials to break apart. Both materials are potentially hazardous to human health. Abrasive activities can grind or shave asbestos fibers off and send them airborne. If inhaled, the fibers become stuck and increase the risk of some cancers.

Not only are spills illegal and dangerous, but they are also very costly. How can you avoid causing a spill? Contact BuildSafe to test any suspect materials PRIOR to damaging or disturbing them. For more information on what materials are considered suspect, check out our blog:

When asbestos is identified, make sure you are only using licensed abatement contractors to complete the abatement, and that the Final Air Clearance is completed by a Certified Air Monitoring Specialist. If you ever have any questions or would like to schedule an inspection, we are happy to assist, please contact us by phone or email at 720-598-0501 or, we have someone available 24/7 to assist you and make sure your project is being completed safely and legally. 

What areas do we service? If you are in the State of Colorado or surrounding areas, we are here to help! We will travel anywhere needed, including but not limited to; Denver, Aurora, Parker, Littleton, Lakewood, Ft Collins, Greeley, Bailey, Strasburg, Brighton, Bennett, Colorado Springs, Peyton, Pueblo, Vail, Breckenridge, Trinidad, Lafayette, Boulder, Springfield, Evergreen, Salida, Kiowa, Timnath, Kersey, Granby, Cheyenne, Laramie, Raton, and more!!

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