Asbestos and Lead Surveys

Partner conducts a limited, visual evaluation of accessible areas for the presence of suspect Absbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) and Lead based Paint (LBP) during every Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I) and Environmental Transaction Screen (ETS). Partner also performs various degrees of Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) and Lead Based Paint (LBP) sampling, ranging from Limited Surveys to Demolition Surveys and Clearance Screens.

All handling and sampling procedures are done in accordance with EPA and OSHA's regulations. Partner uses various techniques such as Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM), point count method, Transmission Election Microscopy (TEM), paint chip sampling, and x-ray fluorescence (XRF).

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is the name given to a number of naturally occurring, fibrous silicate minerals mined throughout the world for its unique properties, such as; thermal insulation, chemical and thermal stability, and high tensile strength. Asbestos is commonly used as an acoustic insulator, thermal insulation, fire proofing and in other building materials. In addition to being mined, asbestos can be found naturally in the air outdoors and in some drinkable water.

There are six types of minerals defined as asbestos, which include: chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite. The most common types used commercially are chrysotile (white), amosite (brown), and crocidolite (blue).

Common areas in the home where asbestos can be found include:
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  • Steam pipes, boilers, furnace ducts
  • Resilient floor tiles
  • Cement Sheet, millboard, paper
  • Door gaskets
  • Soundproofing or decorative material
  • Patching and joint compound
  • Asbestos cement roofing, shingles, and siding

How can Asbestos affect me?

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Asbestos exposure is a health concern when high concentrations of asbestos fibers are inhaled over a long period of time. Most people exposed to small amounts of asbestos do not develop health problems. However, if asbestos material is disturbed it may release asbestos fibers, which can be inhaled into the lungs. After inhaled, asbestos fibers can remain and accumulate in the lungs, which over time may cause serious lung diseases including: asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma.

Airborne asbestos can occur after asbestos-containing materials are disturbed by cutting, sanding or other remodeling activities. Additionally, asbestos material that crumbles easily if handled is more likely to create a health hazard.

What can I do?

If you suspect your home or business has asbestos-containing materials present, don't panic. In general, material in good condition will not release asbestos fiber. And remember, there's no danger unless fibers are released and inhaled into the lungs.

Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of exposure:
  • Leave undamaged asbestos material alone.
  • Contact Partner, or another trained/qualified inspector, to first determine if asbestos is present by sampling the material and then removing or encapsulating it.
  • Should the material remain onsite undisturbed, Partner can create and implement measures to guide you on how to handle asbestos-containing materials in the future.

What is Lead-Based Paint?

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Lead is a highly toxic metal that affects virtually every system of the body. While adults can suffer from excessive lead exposures, the groups most at risk are fetuses, infants and children under 6. Congress passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, also known as "Title X", to protect families from exposure to lead from paint, dust, and soil.

According to Section 1017 of Title X, "lead-based paint hazard is any condition that causes exposure to lead from lead-contaminated dust; bare, lead-contaminated soil; or lead-based paint that is deteriorated or intact lead-based paint present on accessible surfaces, friction surfaces, or impact surfaces that would result in adverse human health effects". Lead-based paint is defined as any paint, varnish, stain, or other applied coating that has 1 mg/cm2 (or 5,000 ug/g by weight) or more of lead.

According to the EPA, the most common sources of lead poisoning are from deteriorating Lead Based Paint, lead contaminated dust, and lead contaminated residential soil.

How can Lead Based Paint (LBP) affect me?

Lead poisoning can occur from the inhalation of lead dust or the ingestion of paint chips or soil that contains lead. Lead poisoning is more dangerous to children primarily because children's brains and nervous system are more sensitive to the damaging effect of lead. Long-term exposure to lead can lead to brain damage, nervous system damage, behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, and headaches.

lead based paint

Adults can also suffer from lead poisoning. Side effects of lead poison include reproductive problems, muscle and joint problems, high blood pressure and hypertension, memory and concentration problems, and nerve disorders.

What can I do?

If your home or building was built before 1978, there's a good chance that LBP is present. Similar to ACMs, LBP in good condition generally will not pose a threat to the building occupants.

If the paint is peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking, contact Partner today for an inspection and sampling to determine if LBP is present.

Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of exposure:

  • Leave undamaged painted surfaces alone. Don't sand or remove the paint without sampling to confirm if lead is present.
  • Clean up paint chips immediately.
  • Keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces.
  • Contact Partner or another trained/qualified inspector to first determine if LBP is present by sampling the material and then removing or encapsulating it.
  • Should the material remain onsite undisturbed, Partner can create and implement measures to guide you on how to handle LBP in the future.