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October 2018

Asbestos fiber roofing material

Mesothelioma, Asbestos Illnesses, and Asbestos Exposure – The History

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Asbestos exposure and the illness that come with it are devastating, but where did it all start? Today, Asbestos Abatement Services is going to give you a brief history of asbestos, asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, and asbestos-related illnesses. Masses of people have been exposed to asbestos and have illnesses such as Mesothelioma, cancer, asbestosis, and severe respiratory problems. These diseases can lead to death. Many people were exposed through work, but it can also be found inside homes. Asbestos is a dangerous fiber that can easily be inhaled or ingested. Below we will discuss the earliest uses and how it has affected us over time.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber, so it was readily used by people throughout the ages. People realized how durable and functional it was for many different materials. It was added with other materials to create lamp wicks, in the embalming process, and even in clay to strengthen pottery. Early on, it was documented that people who handled asbestos fibers in looms for clothing, suffered severe respiratory problems. People working in quarries started wearing respiratory masks made from sheep’s bladders to ensure they did not inhale the dust and asbestos fibers.

Why were asbestos fibers still used?

With the many advances in medical knowledge and the proof of illnesses connected to asbestos exposure, people still used asbestos fibers. It had special qualities that made it necessary in earlier times. It was used in castles to prevent the spread of fires, in factories and steam broilers because of its high heat tolerance; it was also used in large ships. By the end of the 1800s, there was a boom in asbestos fibers. There were many asbestos mining operations throughout the world. In 1897 doctors began to notice more links to asbestos, illnesses, and death. In 1906 an autopsy was the first documented death from asbestos. In 1910 insurance companies began reducing coverage for people working in industries that used asbestos. In the 1920s doctors finally recognized asbestosis, by 1960 mesothelioma was found to be caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos laws have been passed since the 1980s. However, asbestos is still legal in the United States. It is still found in small quantities of certain construction and heat-resistant products.

Worker in protective gear holding insulation near exposed wall

Asbestos Insulation and Protecting Your Family

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Asbestos was commonly used in insulation. It was the perfect fiber for insulation, as it held up to wear and tear, was fire-resistant, and cheap. Asbestos was used for insulation into the 1980s. Even if your home has been remodeled, it likely still has asbestos in the insulation. Insulation is not usually replaced when remodels are completed. Should you worry about having these fibers in the insulation of your home? Absolutely! It is possible that you do not have asbestos fibers in your insulation, but do you really want to take that chance? Asbestos Abatement Services understand the importance of testing and so should you. Below we will discuss insulation and how it can affect your family.

Vermiculite insulation was the most popular insulation used in older homes. A lot of vermiculite was contaminated with asbestos, as it grew naturally in the mines. This type of insulation was called zonolite and was used in homes across America. It was perfect for insulation, because of the asbestos. Unfortunately, asbestos causes severe health issues including  respiratory problems, cancer, and even death. Below we will discuss some things you can do to prevent asbestos exposure.

Have an Asbestos Test Completed

This is the easiest way to determine if your home’s insulation contains asbestos. Asbestos tests are completed by certified asbestos professionals. The test is very extensive and will check your insulation and other areas of your home. This is the only way to know for sure if your home has asbestos.

Never Disturb Insulation

Insulation should always be handled by a certified professional. Asbestos could be in the insulation, and you would never know, that is until you become sick. Insulation also contains other products that are not safe to inhale. Always leave insulation removal and installation to the professionals.

Keep Children Out of Attics and Basements

If you know you have Vermiculite insulation, it is important to keep children away from it. If you have not had an asbestos test, this is even more crucial. Children will touch exposed insulation and could easily ingest asbestos fibers.
The bottom line is never to attempt to remove insulation and always have an asbestos test completed on your home. Asbestos tests are affordable and could save your life!

Exterior of a school building

Asbestos and Where it May Be Found!

By | Asbestos in the home, Asbestos Information, Asbestos Related Illness Info | No Comments

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber. However, it can also be found inside homes and offices around the world. Asbestos is a danger to everyone and can cause devastating illnesses such as cancer, but where is it likely to be found? Answers vary, but the main places you may be exposed to the naturally occurring mineral are listed below. Our number one job is to help prevent exposure, and we do that through education on the topic.

In Your Own Home

The first and most important place for asbestos is your own home. Most are shocked when they realize their new looking home contains asbestos. Construction materials are known to contain even trace amounts of asbestos. In the 1980s asbestos was considered a miracle fiber. It wasn’t only affordable, but it was fire resistant and durable. It was perfect for constructing homes.

Some of the places asbestos could be inside your home include:

  • Popcorn or Textured Ceilings and Walls
  • Wallpaper Adhesives
  • Caulking
  • Tiles
  • Roofing
  • Insulation
  • Walls

When asbestos-containing materials become worn or are disturbed through remodels, the problems begin. Asbestos fibers are very tiny and can float through the air and even on your clothing. Asbestos testing should be completed on your home to ensure it is free of asbestos fibers.

At Work

A lot of older buildings are remodeled to look newer for businesses. Unfortunately, this can disturb asbestos-containing materials, in turn causing asbestos exposure to employees and clients. Working in construction, shipyards, and other types of outdoor jobs can also cause asbestos exposure. Many of these jobs still have asbestos-containing materials. You aren’t just exposed at work, as asbestos fibers can attach to your clothing, making it possible that you bring asbestos fibers into your home.

In Schools

Older schools have been on the news recently because of asbestos. Many older schools still contain asbestos-containing materials. This can be a scary thought. Luckily, new laws have been put in place, and schools must have plans to handle asbestos. Asbestos exposure is still a concern, but recent laws have made it easier to ensure the safety of your children at school.

Contractor installing tile

Construction Products that Might Contain Asbestos

By | Asbestos in the home, Asbestos Information | No Comments

It is frightening to think that construction products could still contain asbestos. Sadly, this is the case in the United States and many other countries. Older buildings and hmes likely do contain asbestos, and some newer buildings and homes do as well. How do you know? This is a question we get all the time. You can only determine if a structure contains asbestos by completed an asbestos test and inspection. Below Asbestos Abatement Services will discuss the many construction products that have been known to contain asbestos.

Roofing

Asbestos is known to be fire-resistant and very durable. This alone made it perfect for roofing products. Asbestos is also very affordable. It was the best fiber to use for roofing until it was determined that asbestos was dangerous to your health.

Tile

Tile needs to be tough, as it is walked on daily. Asbestos has been used in tile for decades because of how strong it is. Cheap costs and long-lasting was the main selling point for asbestos use in tile.

Insulation

Insulation is the most commonly used construction item that is known to contain asbestos. Insulation needed to be fire-retardant, strong, and affordable. Asbestos ticked off the list as being the perfect solution, that is until people began to get sick from it.

Wallpaper Adhesives

Wallpaper adhesives needed to last for a long time and be affordable. Asbestos was the solution, and it worked great until people became ill.

Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn ceilings were all the rage and the easiest and most cost-effective way to construct a popcorn ceiling was using asbestos fibers. Today, we have different textures to make the popcorn ceiling textured look. If you have popcorn ceilings, it is important to have them checked for asbestos.
Above are the top products that used asbestos as part of their make-up. Asbestos testing and inspections are important because you cannot tell by looking at a product if it contains asbestos. If you own a property, you should have it tested by a certified asbestos inspector. It can give you peace of mind.