When you have hazardous materials in a house, commercial structure or even in soil or groundwater, you are facing a safety risk. Pollutants like lead, asbestos and mold can be hazardous to anyone who comes onto the property. These hazards must be dealt with, and they must be dealt with correctly.

When you work with a company like Matrix Environmental to address such a problem, you likely will be offered two options: abatement or remediation. Sometimes the words are used interchangeably, but they are two different types of services performed to eliminate the threat of hazardous materials.


First, let’s define what abatement is. This is the process of safely removing hazardous material(s) from a structure or encapsulating it in such a way that it no longer poses a threat. The contaminated part of the building would be sealed off. In most cases, the hazardous materials would be removed entirely, and the area thoroughly cleaned. Only a licensed hazmat abatement company should do this work because they can safely handle and dispose of contaminants.

In some cases, not all hazardous materials can be removed without affecting the structural integrity of a building. In such cases, the affected areas are sealed off with specialized equipment and materials to ensure that none of the toxins become airborne and will no longer present a direct health risk.


Remediation typically includes abatement as one stage of a larger plan. The goal of remediation is to completely address the underlying problem to prevent it from happening again. Thorough testing and careful planning will be done to identify the contaminant and its source. Then, the abatement procedures take place along with solutions for eliminating underlying causes. Remediation is a more comprehensive method used not only to remove the hazardous material, but to make sure they never return.

Which Do I Need?

Whether you need abatement or remediation will depend largely on the toxic material you are trying to address. For example, lead and asbestos, compounds that were once used in old building materials, can be fully and properly removed from a structure. Mold, on the other hand, is an organic material, which usually requires the extra steps of remediation. Just removing existing mold may not completely solve the problem. It could come back if certain conditions remain the same as they were. Therefore, a more comprehensive remediation plan would be best to eliminate mold now and forever.

If you have any possible contaminants in your structure or land, the first step is to call Matrix Environmental for a thorough inspection and testing to determine the extent of the problem. Then, we can recommend whether you need abatement or remediation to address the issues at hand. Contact us today for more information on our hazmat abatement and remediation services.