The Asbestos Impasse

by Virginia Fairweather, Editor; Civil Engineering, 345 E. 47th St., New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1986, Vol. 56, Issue 2, Pg. 43-45

Document Type: Feature article


Removing asbestos from the nation's buildings is a major task . Consulting engineers can play an important part in the process, locating and quantifying the carcinogenic material, then writing the specifications for proper removal by contractors who specialize in asbestos abatement. Adequate specifications are imperative, both for safe removal and a guarantee that contractors do the best possible job. Good specs can also alleviate liability potential. Currently, the insurance industry is refusing to cover anyone involved with asbestos abatement and also refusing to insure buildings that contain asbestos. The federal government is also involved in the asbestos problem since several agencies own buildings that contain asbestos that must be removed. Most in the industry are optimistic that the current impasse will be overcome.

Subject Headings: Asbestos | Consulting services | Materials processing | Contractors and subcontractors | Industries | Federal government | Health hazards | Writing skills

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