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Can You Remove Asbestos from Your Own Home?

From home improvement projects to automobile repairs and everything in between, DIY (do-it-yourself) has become both a trendy acronym and rapidly expanding societal movement. With more information than ever before available on the internet, you can find resources for almost anything. YouTube channels and other outlets even provide video demonstrations of a wide variety of DIY projects one might consider undertaking. According to Technavio, the global DIY tools market will reach $13.9 billion by 2021.

Beyond creativity and a sense of accomplishment, many people are also motivated by the financial savings that come from doing it yourself. But are all home projects legal and appropriate for non-professionals?

For example, does Oregon law allow one to remove asbestos from one’s own home? If so, is it a safe project? We’ll discuss those issues in this article.

How Do You Know if There Is Asbestos Present in a Home?

The state of Oregon warns those owning homes constructed before 2004 that there may be asbestos in ceilings, walls, pipes, insulation, roofs, floors, HVAC systems, siding, insulation, and elsewhere. Asbestos generally isn’t dangerous unless it is disturbed by actions like sawing, drilling, cutting, and sanding. Thus, if the asbestos is properly sealed and isn’t overly worn or being disturbed, there probably isn’t a problem.

However, demolition, remodeling, and other projects can disturb the asbestos. Once asbestos is disturbed, the particles can become airborne and inhaled. Sufficient exposure to asbestos can create health problems, including cancer and mesothelioma.

Therefore, if you’re not sure if asbestos is present in your home, the first step before starting a home renovation project is to check for asbestos. Oregon provides a list of licensed asbestos abatement professionals who can help.

Note that, while it’s safer to use a professional to take a sample, the law doesn’t require it. Homeowners can do it themselves. If you decide to take this step, Oregon provides a procedure for safely taking a sample and sending it to a lab.

Asbestos Removal and Oregon Law

Asbestos removal is ordinarily highly regulated. However, when a homeowner wants to personally perform a renovation and learns that asbestos is present in the home, Oregon law has an exception that permits the homeowner to remove the asbestos. The homeowner must still comply with Oregon’s rules and laws for packaging and disposal of the asbestos.

Asbestos Dangers in the Construction Industry

Clearly, those who have long histories in the construction industry, including demolition and renovation activities, are more likely to have come into contact with asbestos. Long term exposure without undertaking proper precautions can result in serious illness.

Moreover, it can take many years before a person becomes sick after being exposed to asbestos. Sadly, some employers and manufacturers hid the dangers of asbestos for many years. Additionally, many employers failed to adequately protect employees.

Fortunately, the law provides a remedy to those who are now suffering from asbestos-related illness.

Call with Questions

We appreciate that some people have a real DIY mindset. However, when it comes to asbestos identification and removal, it’s better to leave it to the professionals.

And if you’re suffering from an asbestos-related illness, you probably have questions about what steps you should take next. The experienced mesothelioma lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield are familiar with the law regarding asbestos-related illness and would be happy to answer your questions. We believe it’s important that wrongdoers be held accountable to the people they harm and to society so that everyone can lead a safer life.