LANE COUNTY, Ore. – Asbestos is very harmful to breathe in, but Lane County Waste Management workers come across it all the time.
In the 40s 50s and 60s, asbestos was commonly used in home-building.
Asbestos produces very small fibers that you can’t see with the naked eye.
People later learned that when the fibers are inhaled, they can stay in your lungs, and it’s a health hazard.
Staff at the Glenwood Transfer station always check items that are being dropped off to see if they have asbestos.
A lot of times, they do.
“With the housing market being on the increase we’ve seen more remodels, more demolitions, so with that we’re seeing more potential for asbestos coming through our facilities,” said Chad Ficek, Special Waste Analyst for Lane County.
Dropping off items with asbestos exposes employees and other people using the transfer station.
In July, The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) changed the date requirements for residential properties that must be checked for asbestos.
The old requirement said you had to check if your residence was built before 1987.
The new rule says any residences that were built before 2004 must be checked.
“If you’re planning on remodeling or doing a demolition project on a home built before 2004, you need to have an asbestos survey completed,” said Kim Singleton, Environment Specialist for the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency.
Be sure to call LRAPA before a demolition or remodel project.
On LRAPA.ORG you can learn all about asbestos.
You can also learn all about contractors that can come into your home to conduct a survey and take tests of materials you’re unsure of.
The website features diagrams of places asbestos may be in your home, and lists of licensed asbestos contractors.
You may also email LRAPA with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.