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Hartford County, Connecticut is home to thousands of historic homes, mansions, row houses, churches, government buildings, apartments, schools, hospitals, small businesses, military buildings, power plants, factories, and more. Many of these structures were built at a time when asbestos use was common in more than 3,000 building materials and products thanks to superior flexibility, heat and fire resistance, and strength. Just a few building materials that contained asbestos include boilers, cement roofing, floor tiles, furnace ducts, shingles, siding, and steam pipes. When asbestos use was at its peak, the dangers of exposure were unknown.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATDSR), when asbestos-containing products are disturbed, they can release asbestos fibers into the air. In older homes and other structures, asbestos may be disturbed during repairs, remodeling or demolition. Asbestos may even become airborne when it begins to deteriorate, making it easier to crumble and release fibers into the air.

Exposure occurs when fibers are breathed into the lungs where they could remain for a lifetime. Health problems associated with asbestos exposure include mesothelioma, lung cancer, and nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders such as asbestosis, pleural plaques, pleural thickening, and pleural effusion. Although some of these conditions may be cured, there is no cure for mesothelioma.

Asbestos Regulations: Hartford County and the State of Connecticut

The State of Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) developed an Asbestos Program in an effort to reduce the chance of exposure to asbestos. According to DPH, “the Asbestos Program makes sure that asbestos is removed properly as required by law. The Asbestos Program works together with the Environmental Practitioner Licensing Unit to license and regulate asbestos abatement contractors and asbestos consultants.”

The first step in process is to find out if your home or structure contains asbestos.

Whether you plan to buy, remodel, demolish, or build, the structure should be tested for asbestos. Even the outdoor areas should be tested. According to the ATSDR, “outdoor air concentrations of asbestos can also contribute to indoor air asbestos levels.”

To find out if your home, building, or outside area contain asbestos, hire a professional asbestos inspector to sample and test to detect the presence of asbestos, says the Westchester County Department of Health in neighboring New York State. If you’ve already noticed that asbestos-containing material is becoming damaged (unraveling, fraying, breaking apart) you should immediately isolate the area from people and pets. Avoid disturbing the material either by touching or walking on it and consult an asbestos professional to learn the safest way to address the problem, says the Department.

RTK Environmental Group can help. Although asbestos is extremely dangerous, it is easily managed. Our trained and accredited asbestos professionals service Hartford County and can have your potential business location, construction site, remodeling project, or home sampled safely and in compliance with state and county regulations. Take the necessary steps to make sure you, your workers, or your family are not harmed by asbestos. Call RTK Environmental to schedule an appointment today at 800.392.6468.

A CDC study found that genetic material from the coronavirus remained on surfaces aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship as long as 17 days. (USA Today, CDC)

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