Industry News

Should I sign an asbestos opt out form?

Don’t Opt-Out Of Happiness And Good Health

… Going For “Fast And Cheap” Might Be A Deadly Mistake


Are you one of these maverick, devil-may-care, caution-to-the-wind people who believes you don’t need no stinkin’ protection?


“I’m not planning to drive off a cliff,” you tell the rental car agent, “so I will decline the extra insurance.”


“Three year protection plan?” you bellow at the electronics-store clerk.  “That’s just an upsell because you know the thing is designed to crap out in the 38th month!  No, thanks!”


“I don’t need no sealant,” you tell William H. Macy in Fargo.  “No, you don’t need that,” he says, though in a previous scene he was very clear that this “Clear Coat” sealant is installed at the factory, and there’s nothing they can do about it, except charge you the $400, unless knocking off $100 makes you buy the car, even though the sales manager has never done that before.


Yes, granted, there may be some “extra protection” people offer you which you don’t really need.


Then again, there are some forms of protection you absolutely DO need, because they’re not “extra” at all.


Some protection should not be “optional.”



Believe It Or Not…


… Some shady, sinister, fly-by-night asbestos removal companies will try to get you to “opt out” of some of this basic, important, much-needed protection.


I’m talking here about something much more important than that factory sealant on your burgundy Oldsmobile 88.


See, asbestos abatement is serious business.  It might sound scary – and it is, if you have one of these shady companies do it – but when it’s done right, with all the proper equipment and procedures mandated by law, getting the asbestos out of your home or business is straightforward and easy (for you).


Asbestos is ugly all the time, of course, but it isn’t dangerous unless it’s disturbed.  Like, during a home disaster such as a flood or fire… or when your friendly neighborhood abatement company is peeling the asbestos-laden popcorn texture off your ceiling.


That’s why we suit up with state-of-the-art protective gear, and bring in industrial-strength equipment to contain and dispose of the asbestos properly, and to clean the air in your building so that it’s completely asbestos-free.


(You don’t want microscopic asbestos particles in your air.  They cause such unpleasant things as mesothelioma and painful death. Again, not to be scary, just speaking the ugly truth of the matter.)



So DON’T Opt Out Of These Critical Protections!


Some shady asbestos companies (see the foregoing colorful description) will try to get you to sign an “opt-out” form by which you decline some of the most important protections afforded you by state and EPA regulation.


Now, sometimes these opt-outs (“opts-out?”  Who knows what the plural is here?) are necessary.  There are older homes with narrow doorways which preclude the use of some of the bigger equipment… but those homeowners still need asbestos removed, so other extra precautions have to be taken in lieu of using the equipment.


However, once a fly-by-night outfit gets your signature on the opt-out form – for whatever reason – they  don’t have to do a very good job of keeping you safe.


They have to wear the “space suits,” and they have to properly dispose of the asbestos outside your property… but that’s it.


Once you’ve signed that form, they don’t have to do anything to ensure your air and surfaces are clean and safe.  In fact, they can do a sloppy job – throw asbestos on the ground and stomp on it, releasing even more deadly microscopic particles – but who cares?  They have the space suits.


They have your signature.


And the cancer-causing airborne fibers they leave behind are your problem.



Now, I don’t mean to frighten you out of doing business with such a company.  Wait.  Yes I do.  That is exactly what I mean to do.  So if you need asbestos abatement (have your property tested, so you’ll know for sure)… and if the vendor asks for your signature on an opt-out form, ask them why.  Ask what makes them think your decision to decline basic protection is necessary.  And when they give you a mumbly, incoherent answer, thank them for their time, dismiss them, and then… well, you know who to call.