Frequently Asked Questions
The timeline of asbestos bans is a little more complicated than that. The EPA began rolling out some bans as early as 1973, but there are several materials that weren’t affected by the first batch of bans. In fact, some asbestos-containing materials are still legal today.
Here’s a PDF explaining the history of asbestos bans:
For more information, check out the EPA’s page on asbestos regulation:
In the state of Colorado, ALL properties need to be inspected for asbestos before any renovation or demolition project. This PDF contains more info:
Asbestos that is in good condition and left undisturbed is unlikely to present a health risk. However, when asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed, asbestos fibers become airborne and can be inhaled, which causes a number of health concerns.
The primary concern with asbestos is respiratory/lung issues, but asbestos can cause a variety of health issues. Some issues caused by breathing asbestos fibers include:
- Lung cancer
- Other types of cancer
For more information, see the National Cancer Institute’s fact sheet on asbestos:
EnvioCore is certified in the state of Colorado to perform asbestos inspections for projects that include demolitions, renovations, restorations, building permits, and more. However, we are NOT certified to abate or remove any of the asbestos. EnvioCore works closely with local asbestos abatement companies, so we can recommend professionals who have shown good abatement practices.
Our certification number is #21660, and it is registered under the name EnvioCore.
The EPA recommends that you use an asbestos abatement contractor that is properly trained to handle asbestos.
EnvioCore can test for asbestos, but we’re not certified to remove it. If we find asbestos in your home, we can recommend a certified abatement company to help with any abatement and removal.
If you have vermiculite insulation in your home, you should assume this material contains asbestos and take precautions to protect yourself and your family from exposure.
The EPA recommends that vermiculite insulation be left undisturbed. Airborne asbestos fibers are dangerous, and attempting to remove or disturb the material can release fibers into the air.
If you want vermiculite insulation removed from your home, the work should be done by a trained and accredited asbestos abatement contractor. This contractor should be separate from the company that performed the assessment to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
An EPA investigation (see report) into these products indicates that consumers face only a minimal health risk from using vermiculite products at home or in their gardens. To further reduce the risk associated with the occasional use of vermiculite products during gardening activities, the EPA recommends that consumers:
- Use vermiculite outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
- Keep vermiculite damp during use to avoid creating dust.
- Avoid bringing dust into the home on clothing.
- Although EPA does not endorse the use of any particular product, consumers may use:
- Premixed potting soils, which ordinarily contain more moisture and less vermiculite than pure vermiculite products, so they are less likely to generate dust.
- Soil amendment materials other than vermiculite, such as peat, sawdust, perlite or bark.
To become a properly trained and accredited asbestos professional, you will need to seek training from a provider that offers courses approved by the EPA or your state to conduct asbestos training pursuant to the Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan. Most states also require a license to perform this work. Your training course completion certificate is a general prerequisite to applying for such a license. The training courses vary in length from two to five days, depending upon the type of work you wish to perform.
Accredited asbestos training courses are generally offered in five separate disciplines:
- Asbestos Abatement Worker
- Asbestos Abatement Supervisor
- Management Planner
- Project Designer
Some states may refer to these training disciplines by different names.
It’s not possible to tell whether a material in your home contains asbestos simply by looking at it. If you suspect a material within your home might contain asbestos, or if you are planning on performing a renovation that would disturb such material, the EPA recommends that you have it sampled by a properly trained and accredited asbestos professional (inspector). The professional then should use a qualified laboratory to perform the asbestos analysis.
It’s also possible to learn about whether the replacement materials you intend to install might possibly contain asbestos by reading the product labels, calling the manufacturer, or by asking your retailer to provide you with a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the product(s) in question.
The primary way people are exposed to mold is by breathing spores or other tiny fragments. People can also be exposed through skin contact with mold contaminants (for example, by touching moldy surfaces) and by swallowing it.
There are many health risks associated with mold, though the type and severity of these can be difficult to predict. Risks vary greatly from one location to another and from person to person.
The most practical way to find a mold problem is by using your eyes and nose. Mold often appears as discoloration, staining or fuzzy growth on surfaces. It may appear cottony, velvety, granular or leathery, and it might have varied colors of white, gray, brown, black, yellow and green. If you see signs of mold, or if there is an earthy or musty smell, you should assume a mold problem exists.
You can also look for signs of excess moisture, because damp areas tend to be hotbeds for mold growth. Additionally, the worsening of allergy-like symptoms might suggest a mold problem.
Lead was added to paint to speed up drying, increase durability, maintain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture.
Even non-leaded paints can be toxic. Paints used in the home contain potentially harmful chemicals such as solvents and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).