Archive for the 'SS Credit 3 – Brownfield Redevelopment' Category

Asbestos and the US Human Condition

Occasionally, I write about the human condition and how things are going in the world around me.  Most of the time I am talking about some condition like the lack of good sanitation or harmful processes that occur abroad.  Well this time I want to bring to light a condition that exists around us in many forms – sometimes obvious and sometimes not.  It is the continuing problem of asbestos and asbestos removal. 

anthophyllite_asbestosAsbestos was used for many years as an excellent heat and fire resistor.  It also turns out to be a major cause of deadly cancer, mesothelioma, when inhaled.  This has been known for years.  It is amazing to me the number of products it can be found in and the building situations that still contain the deadly toxin.  When products that contain asbestos remain whole and intact then all is OK, but when the product deteriorates or crumbles asbestos particles are released into the air and easily breathed.  To make matters worse, schools (k-12) and industrial factories turn up a large amount of the known asbestos in buildings.

As far as LEED is concerned, it is encouraging to know that a credit for Sustainable Sites 3 Brownfield Redevelopment is possible for asbestos and lead abatement in renovations of existing buildings in lieu of a redeveloping a brownfield site.  This is a great credit that is somewhat undiscovered.  A project doesn’t have to give up this credit just because it isn’t moving dirt and reclaiming land.  It can be attained by safely removing asbestos and lead from insidean contaminated existing building as identified by an ASTM E1903-97 Phase II Environmental Site Assessment.  This is good building practice and the law in most places.

The very nice people with the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center, were kind enough to share their very important information with me.  Their website is packed full of information on the subject.  If you have a need to understand the importance of asbestos abatement and the detrimental effects on the human body this is a great resource.