Environmental cleanup is definitely an important step that is required for our own safety, health and future. Whether it the removing of hazardous waste from our houses or neighborhoods or cleaning up after an oil spill, environment clean up has become an important part of our life.
Now the question arises - why environmental cleanup is necessary. There are some very important answers for this question.
If any kind of hazardous waste such as asbestos is left lying around in the neighborhood, it can prove to be fatal not only to our health but also our family's.
Any kind of toxic chemical lying in the dumpster or a nearby landfill will pollute the air we breathe. Breathing in these chemicals can lead to diseases and disorders such as cancer and asbestosis. There is even no cure available for some of these diseases.
Toxic chemicals in the environment can lead to harmful effects on the reproductive systems. They can cause birth defects if a pregnant woman is exposed to these chemicals.
Some toxic air pollutants such as mercury can get deposited on soils and surface water. Plants take in these toxins from the soil. Animals ingest these toxins by eating these plants and drinking this water. Just imagine eating fruits and vegetables which are grown on contaminated soil or water. Or imagine consuming meat, milk or dairy products from animals that have been fed on contaminated plants and water. Can you imagine how much harmful it will be for the health of our children? It can cause respiratory, neurological, developmental and reproductive problems in our children.
Exposure to these contaminants in the environment doesn’t just mean life-threatening illnesses and diseases for us, but it is also dangerous and harmful for our pets. Our pets when exposed to these contaminants will begin to experience various neurological and respiratory problems for prolonged periods of time.
Children playing outside may want to further investigate something which may seem interesting to them and this curiosity can cause more harm to them if they touch any kind of hazardous waste. It may lead to skin diseases and infections.
How about your very young children? Young children tend to place anything or everything in their mouth. Whether it is a toy or any other item, they will put it in their mouth. When the soil is contaminated, these things which are going into your baby’s mouth get contaminated also. Since they are so young and their immune systems are not fully developed, it will affect them more than adults.
Water in your neighborhood and in your houses will get contaminated too. Toxic material dumped in our rivers doesn’t just kill the aquatic animals but harm us too. Just imagine fishes in the contaminated river being caught and sold to us. These contaminated fishes can cause major harm to our family’s health.
Our drinking water can also be contaminated due to these toxins. Water is so essential for our life. But when we drink contaminated water for long periods of time it can actually prove to be deadly for us.
So you can see why an environmental cleanup job is a necessity for our health and our safety. But how can you get this job done? Well, you will need to hire a contractor to do this job. If you want to remove asbestos from your house, you will need to hire an asbestos removal contractor. If you want to take care of an oil spill which has occurred in your house or your neighborhood, you will need to hire a contractor or a company which specializes in oil spill cleanup. If you need a mold removal specialist you need to hire a contractor who is qualified for mold remediation.
Environmental contamination can occur in many ways. It is very important that you hire a contractor who specializes and has experience in the kind of environmental cleanup that is required in your house or in your neighborhood. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind while hiring a contractor for environmental cleanup.
- Contact your insurance company. If your insurance coverage includes environmental cleanup such as an oil spill in your house, then the insurance company will itself often contact certified professionals to begin the cleanup process.
- Look in your yellow pages to find an environmental cleanup contractor. Look under environmental cleanup, hazardous waste removal, mold remediation, oil spill cleanup or anything similar. You can also check the Internet for websites which offer a list of certified contractors in your city and area.
- Check to see if the company has the necessary license to perform an environmental cleanup. The license should be from an authorized license board.
- Ask for references about their previous jobs. Ask for at least three references and contact the three previous customers. Find out if they were satisfied with the job performed by the company. Find out if they had any specific problems with the company. Find out exactly what the environmental problem was and whether the contractor was able to resolve the problem effectively.
- Don’t hire the first contractor you come along in the yellow pages or on the Internet. Speak to at least three contractor companies before making your decision.
- Find out about the costs involved in environmental cleanup. Compare the cost-estimates of all the contractors. Ask the contractors to give you a detailed cost-estimate and not just a figure. This will help you understand the reasons why a contractor is charging you a particular amount and what all is included in it. It will not only do this but will also help you compare the cost-estimates of different contractors. If there is a huge difference in the cost-estimates, it will also help you to understand why. It is quite possible that the contractor asking you for a higher amount actually uses better equipment or process to cleanup the environment. So, thoroughly analyze the cost estimates before making a decision.
- A detailed cost-estimate will actually help you question the contractors about the effectiveness of the equipment and the method of environmental cleanup being used. It may be possible that a contractor company charging you a lesser amount has an equally effective method and equipment to handle your job compared to a contractor who is charging you higher.
- The kind of method and the kind of equipment will also depend on the amount of contamination, the kind of contamination and the place of contamination. Make sure that you specify to the contractors the exact nature and extent of the contamination. An oil spill in a water source will require a different kind of cleanup than an oil spill in the soil.
- Find out if the clean up process poses any serious hazards for you, your family and your community. If it does, make sure that you ask the contractor the ways in which you and the people around you can be protected.
- In case of an oil spill in your house, make sure that a site professional is present to oversee and manage all facets of fuel oil spill. Site professionals make sure that the environmental cleanup process does not in anyway lead to any further harm to the environment by ensuring that the oil spill does not spread to the neighborhood.
- Ask the contractors how the environmental cleanup will be done. Will they be neutralizing the hazardous waste? Will they make the waste less hazardous? Or will they just make it safer to transport, store or dispose? The answer to these questions is very important to ensure that there is no harm to your family or environment.
- If the environmental cleanup contractor is going to transport the hazardous material to another place, make sure that the contractor has a certification for transporting the material to a specific landfill and the landfill is certified and equipped to receive that particular kind of hazardous material.
- Make sure that the environmental cleanup contractor uses proper containers and proper transportation means while taking the material to the landfill. The containers should have a clear signage specifying the fact that it contains hazardous waste. It should be sealed properly to avoid any spillage on the way. The truck or transportation vehicle should be covered to avoid any spillage from the containers.
It’s very important that any kind of environmental hazard is immediately handled and taken care of. In case of any presence of hazardous waste or oil or petroleum spills, the local government or the designated environmental body in the city needs to be informed. This is to ensure that the environmental hazard is contained within your house and not allowed to spread to the neighborhood. Hiring a certified environmental consulting contractor company ensures that the environmental cleanup is done in an effective and legal way.
Environmental cleanup is very necessary for the health and safety of your family, your children and your community. So don’t ignore it. Make sure that immediate steps are taken as soon as possible to prevent further harm and spread of environmental hazards.