Most people in Valparaiso, IN have heard of asbestos, but they don’t realize the health implications and legal requirements associated with the compound. Asbestos was commonly used as a construction material from the early 1940s until the late 1970s, though it wasn’t federally banned in new construction until 1989. During this period, it had widespread use as an effective and cheap fire-retardant and insulation.
Research in the 1970s found that asbestos is directly associated with several health problems – namely respiratory-related issues. These include an increased risk of lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. These health issues are related to acute and chronic exposure to asbestos fibers. Some studies have found that asbestos-related symptoms do not appear for 10 to 20 years after exposure.
The primary exposure pathway is through breathing. Asbestos is very stable, so it can remain suspended in the air for an extended period after it is disturbed. You should always have a professional deal with material you know (or think) may contain asbestos.
What Asbestos Means for You
In Indiana, the Indiana Department of Environmental Health (IDEM) regulates the removal of asbestos containing material (ACM) in commercial, industrial, and multiunit residential developments. They do not oversee single-family homes or residential developments with four or fewer units.
If you are purchasing or renovating a structure built when asbestos was used, it is essential to complete an asbestos assessment.
Single Family Home or Small Residential Development
While these structures do not full under IDEM oversight, it is still a good idea to check for asbestos. It is important to ensure that you, your family, or your tenants are not at a health risk. Additionally, if asbestos is discovered during future work on the property, you may be financially responsible for its abatement. This typically includes an assessment to identify asbestos, sampling the potential ACM, and removal and disposal of ACM.
Commercial, Industrial, and Large Multiunit Residential Properties
These types of structures are larger, and, in most cases, if you are using a bank to finance the purchase, they will require an asbestos assessment. This is usually a requirement because large scale asbestos assessment and remediation can be quite costly and may require regulatory involvement by the IDEM. By identifying asbestos before a property transaction, you can factor that cost into the purchase price or know what you will have to deal with down the line.
How Aegis Can Help
We maintain state-certified asbestos consultants on staff that are knowledgeable on the assessment, remediation, and regulatory process. Our inhouse team can provide a turnkey solution to meet your concerns or bank requirements. Get in touch if asbestos is a concern, and we will take it from there.