Asbestos has been used for centuries as it is a naturally growing fiber. It has been used in textiles, pottery, and most recently in construction materials. If your home was built before the mid-80s, you likely have asbestos-containing materials present. The United States has tried to regulate the use of asbestos since the 70s, but it is still present in homes. Asbestos Abatement Services has 4 things you must know about asbestos and your home.
What is Asbestos? Is it in my Home?
As mentioned above, asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber. It grows in the soil and rocks and is known as a durable fiber. Asbestos is naturally heat-resistant, making it the perfect addition to construction materials. Asbestos is also very cost-effective, making it great for building homes. Asbestos has been liked to lung cancer, mesothelioma, and even death. Asbestos was used in a wide variety of construction materials including:
• Wall Tiles, Ceilings, and Flooring
• Siding Shingles and Roofing
• Patching Compounds and Textured Paint
• Heat-Resistant Fabrics
• Areas Around Wood-burning Stoves
How Do I Become Exposed?
Asbestos fibers are not directly hazardous to your health unless they are disturbed. If the materials are old and worn, dust particles will break off and expose you and your family. Once asbestos becomes friable, it becomes highly dangerous. Non-friable asbestos is materials that are not worn or damaged. Non-friable asbestos is not immediate danger but will become one over time. Any type of remodel or demolition can disturb the asbestos fibers and expose you. Asbestos fibers are very small and not able to be seen, meaning you will not know if you have been exposed until years later.
Why is Asbestos Dangerous?
Asbestos is one of the most dangerous fibers in the world. Exposure from ingesting fibers can cause mesothelioma, which is cancer caused by asbestos exposure that affects the lining of the chest, lungs, heart, and abdomen. You can also develop lung cancer and asbestosis, which is a long-term inflammatory lung disease that can progress into mesothelioma. Unfortunately, asbestos exposure symptoms are not immediate. Asbestos lies dormant in your body for decades before it begins to show symptoms.
Can I Remove it Myself?
Asbestos should always be removed by a certified asbestos abatement company. Asbestos fibers cannot be seen, making it impossible to know if you are being exposed. Asbestos abatement specialist has the proper equipment to block off areas to ensure asbestos does not spread to other areas. They also use suits and respirators to ensure safety. Asbestos can also only be disposed of by a certified asbestos abatement specialist. There are strict laws on asbestos removal and disposal.