As one of the most historic counties in the U.S., Westchester County features thousands of structures that were built before the 1980’s. Unfortunately, this means that many of the buildings here are rife with asbestos—so exposure can occur just about anywhere. Asbestos was used in building materials, products, and insulation. Common products that have been used in building homes and other structures in Westchester County include steam pipes, boilers, furnace ducts, cement roofing, shingles, siding, and resilient floor tiles.
Because the use of asbestos-containing products was very common in Westchester County before 1978, it had one of the top ten highest numbers of asbestos-related deaths in the State of New York between 1979 and 2001. Further, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Westchester County ranks 56th in the list of top 100 U.S. counties reporting malignant mesothelioma deaths from asbestos exposure. So just how does this asbestos exposure occur?
According to the Westchester County Department of Health, when asbestos-containing materials become damaged or are disturbed by repair, remodeling or demolition, microscopic fibers become airborne and can be inhaled into the lungs where they can cause significant health problems. These health problems 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: Test for Asbestos in Westchester County and New York State
Westchester County and New York State regulatory codes require submission of all building, demolition and remodeling plans for approval (by application). However, whether you plan to buy, remodel, demolish, or build, the structure and/or area should be tested for asbestos. The Westchester Department of Health states that builders and homeowners should “hire a professional asbestos inspector to sample and test to detect the presence of asbestos. If 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.”
RTK Environmental Group can help. Although asbestos is extremely dangerous, it is easily managed. Our trained and accredited asbestos professionals test for asbestos in Westchester 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.