Even though the EPA has restricted asbestos use as a building material in the 1970s and has proposed a 10-year phase-out of products containing asbestos in 1986, people purchasing homes that were built during those years are understandably nervous.
Generally, asbestos-containing materials (ACM's) do not have to be removed from any residential property. In fact, asbestos-containing material does not have to be removed from any residential structures unless it will be disturbed during construction, renovation or demolition activities. As long as the asbestos-containing material is in good condition, in tact and will not be disturbed; it does not pose a significant health risk to it's occupants. It's only when asbestos is fully exposed and friable, flaking or crumbling, and that it's likely to become airborne (see image above) is when I highly recommend encapsulation or professional removal by properly licensed asbestos removal personnel. Asbestos removal should never be attempted by the homeowner unless you do not mind having lung infections later on in your life. This action requires special equipment and detailed training which would generally be too expensive and time-consuming for a homeowner to acquire for a one-time job. Removal is also the last choice among alternatives because it poses the most risk of fiber release if not performed correctly.
If you do decide to hire the professionals to have any suspected asbestos removed from your building, please make sure the removal company is licensed by the State of Massachusetts.
Please use the following form to guide you through any asbestos removal project (small or big)... http://www.mass.gov/dep/air/approvals/anf001.pdf
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