When hurricanes, floods and wildfires create havoc, buildings with asbestos are at risk. Destructive environmental events can spread the toxin, leading to great danger.
The good news is it remains possible to mitigate the concern. Measures are possible both before and after a calamity strikes.
Preparing for an asbestos-spreading environmental event
Safety officials insist that everyone create an emergency plan. Components include communication protocols, the wisest evacuation routes and where everyone will shelter. Those in charge should also compile contact information. How to care for animals remains another critical matter.
Respirators are extremely helpful at all stages of disaster. Only masks with a protection rating of 100 defend wearers against tiny asbestos fibers. Other safety supplies worth gathering are heavy boots, goggles and disposable clothing.
Cleaning up after an asbestos-spreading environmental event
Following a fire or hurricane, objects with a chance of containing asbestos must be wet down. Getting rid of soot and ash requires a HEPA vacuum with an air filter. Cleaners should double-bag debris. They must also avoid touching walls and floors showing signs of damage.
For floods, demolition must occur according to NESHAP regulations. Before pulling down structures, workers should wrap everything in plastic. This helps confine the dispersal of particles.
When there is a tornado, someone should contact the local EPA. The agency needs to know if there might be asbestos contamination in the area. That way, they may take action to protect the general public.
Direct contact with asbestos has deadly consequences. Thus, it is imperative to reduce the odds of it happening. Anticipating the fallout from a natural disaster has the potential to save lives.