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Asbestos-containing material became a high profile public concern after federal legislation known as AHERA (Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act) was enacted in 1987. AHERA requires that all schools be inspected for asbestos-containing building materials, and that appropriate management plans be developed. As a result, many real estate buyers are now concerned about the risks of asbestos containing building materials.
It is known that asbestos fibers increase the risk of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. If the asbestos-containing material is damaged and friable (meaning it crumbles under hand pressure) then it is advisable to have the asbestos-containing material abated. If the asbestos-containing material is not friable (for example, vinyl asbestos floor tiles or asbestos-shingle siding) or is friable but undamaged, then the EPA currently recommends that you leave the asbestos-containing material alone.
Abatement of asbestos-containing material means that is should be repaired, removed, enclosed, or included in an Operations and Maintenance plan. Repair, removal, or enclosure of asbestos-containing material should only be performed by trained and licensed asbestos abatement contractors. A general contractor's license is not sufficient. Asbestos abatement contractors have to be specifically trained in asbestos handling and disposal procedures.
The EPA includes the following five facts in their book: Managing Asbestos in Place • A Building Owner's Guide to Operations and Maintenance Programs for Asbestos-Containing Materials.
Note that this is an excerpt, and you should read the whole book before drawing conclusions.
- Fact one: Although asbestos is hazardous, the risk of asbestos-related disease depends upon exposure to airborne asbestos. In other words, an individual must breathe asbestos fibers in order to incur any chance of developing an asbestos-related disease. How many fibers a person must breathe to develop disease is uncertain. However, at very low exposure levels, the risk may be negligible or zero.
- Fact two: Based on available data, the average airborne asbestos levels in buildings seem to be very low. Accordingly, the health risk to most building occupants also appears to be very low.
- Fact three: Removal is often not a building owner's best course of action to reduce asbestos exposure. In fact, an improper removal can create a dangerous situation where none previously existed. By their nature, asbestos removals tend to elevate the airborne level of asbestos fibers. Unless safeguards are properly applied, a removal operation can actually increase rather than decrease the risk of asbestos related disease
- Fact four: EPA only requires asbestos removal in order to prevent significant public exposure to airborne asbestos fibers during building demolition or renovation projects.
- Fact five: EPA and OSHA recommend a proactive, in-place management program whenever asbestos-containing material is discovered. Management of asbestos in-place means having a program to ensure that the day-to-day management of the building minimizes release of asbestos fibers into the air, and ensures that if asbestos fibers are released, either accidentally or intentionally, proper control and cleanup procedures are implemented.
For information on asbestos-containing building materials, visit the EPA asbestos website or the EPA Asbestos and indoor air quality website.
To conclusively identify the material, it is necessary to take samples and send them for laboratory analysis. If you need an in-depth investigation of the asbestos conditions at your site, contact a firm specializing in asbestos investigations.
Pre-purchase inspection standards specifically exclude asbestos inspection, except for pointing out suspect asbestos to a client under certain circumstances. Heimer Engineering's pre-purchase inspections do not include asbestos testing. Heimer Engineering's Professional Engineers advise you of visibly detectable suspect asbestos, just as other Home Inspectors do. Heimer Engineering does not misrepresent this as an asbestos inspection. Asbestos testing should be performed by an experienced and properly licensed and insured Environmental Testing firm with experience in asbestos testing.
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Heimer Engineering℠ is happy to help you. Senior Staff members are available to answer your questions from Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. After 5 PM, please leave a message. Messages are checked during the day on Sunday, and Sunday evening through Thursday evening. Inspections are performed seven days a week. Choose Heimer Engineering℠.
Inspection orders are taken by senior staff members. A real estate purchase is complex, and you should be able to speak with someone who can give you real answers to your inspection questions.
To set up an appointment for a pre-purchase inspection, or to find out about Engineering services or expert court testimony send Heimer Engineering℠ an email at WebInfoRequest@heimer.com, send Heimer Engineering℠ a text at 888.769.6910, call Heimer Engineering℠ at 800.605.1500, or call Heimer Engineering℠ at 646.757.4500. If no staff member is in the office, leave a message.
Heimer Engineering℠ serves the Metro New York area, including New York City (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island), Long Island (Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Upstate New York (Rockland County, Putnam County, and Westchester County).
Heimer Engineering℠ respects your privacy. Some inspection firms share information with insurance, landscaping, home maintenance, moving, cable, mortgage, and other companies. You will not receive phone calls or solicitation emails from third parties as a result of providing personal information.
In the event of a life-threatening emergency call 911. Emergency situations need to be handled by first-responders who can evacuate buildings, shut utilities off, and take other steps necessary to preserve life.
Heimer Engineering℠ Standards of PracticeThe Licensed Engineers of Heimer Engineering℠ substantially adhere to the InterNACHI® Code of Ethics, to Subpart 197-4 of the State of New York Code of Ethics and Regulations for Home Inspectors, and to the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE®) Code of Ethics. All State of New York Licensed Engineers are also bound by New York State Education Law Article 145.
Heimer Engineering℠ Code of Ethics
The Licensed Engineers of Heimer Engineering℠ substantially adhere to the InterNACHI® Standards of Practice and the ASHI® Standards of Practice. In the event of a conflict, the Licensed Engineers of Heimer Engineering℠ use Engineering judgment to decide what standard or Engineering principle takes precedence.
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Heimer Engineering℠ performs home inspections, building inspections, condominium inspections, and co-op inspections in the State of New York. We do not perform inspections or recommend Inspectors or Engineers outside of the State of New York. We provide Licensed Professional Engineer consultation services including hurricane and storm damage and damage from adjoining construction. Expert witness services are provided regarding playground injuries, parking lot, walkway, and stairway slip, trip, and fall.
The Heimer Engineering℠ website was designed by Harold Krongelb. Post design review was performed by Matthew John Rapisarda. Sitemaps and indexing information can be found at Page Sitemap, Image Sitemap, and Video Sitemap. Heimer Engineering's domains include www.heimer.com, www.home-inspection-ny.com, www.professional-engineer.com, and www.home-inspection-engineer.com. Heimer Engineering posts updates on Facebook.
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©1997-2018 Andrea and Harold Krongelb. All rights reserved. Used under license by Heimer Engineering PC.
f/k/a Richard L Heimer PE PC
2171 Jericho Turnpike
Commack, New York, USA 11725-2947
✅ New York Metro: 800.605.1500
✅ New York Metro: 800.640.8090
✅ New York Metro: 646.757.4500
✅ Bronx, New York: 718.547.2000
✅ Brooklyn, New York: 718.237.7777
✅ Manhattan, New York: 212.563.4777
✅ Long Island, New York: 516.487.2100
✅ Long Island, New York: 631.549.2500
✅ Nassau County, New York: 516.487.2100
✅ Putnam County, New York: 845.638.4900
✅ Queens, New York: 718.544.3000
✅ Staten Island, New York: 718.227.5000
✅ Suffolk County, New York: 631.858.5500
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✅ Suffolk County, New York: 631.549.2500
✅ Westchester County, New York: 914.576.6100
✅ Fax: 631.858.5599, 646.795.4571
✅ Text: 888.769.6910
✅ Coordinates: 40.8439215, -73.2871259
✅ URL: www.heimer.com
✅ Email: Info@heimer.com
International Standard of Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) Revision 4 Classification: 71
North American Industry Classification System (SAISC) Classification: 541330, 541350