How to Check For Asbestos in the Home
By Mark J. Donovan
||Asbestos was used in numerous home building materials for years including insulation, vinyl floor tiles, roofing materials, house siding, drywall, and textured ceiling paints, just to name a few. As a result many home builders and homeowners were exposed to the health hazards of asbestos, including Mesothelioma, Asbestosis, and lung cancer.
Asbestos was used in building materials for a number of reasons, but chief among them was the fact that it is a fire retardant.
Unfortunately, however, asbestos is a natural mineral fiber and when it is disturbed, microscopic thin crystal like asbestos particles are released into the air.
Once in the air, the suspended particles can be inhaled and ingested. After inhalation, the particles can become lodged in the lungs. Once lodged in the lungs various forms of lung illnesses and cancers can occur.
|Checking for asbestos in your home is important, particularly when you plan to disturb the materials that could potentially have asbestos in them. Fortunately today’s new home construction is virtually free of asbestos. Older homes built pre-1979, however, are much more likely to have asbestos in them.
Homes with asbestos in them are not necessarily dangerous if the asbestos laced building materials are left undisturbed or are encapsulated in another safe building product.
Also, small exposures to asbestos particles will not necessarily results in lung diseases. Typically prolonged exposure to asbestos particles is what causes the various lung problems.
To check for asbestos in your home, it is imperative to hire a licensed asbestos testing firm or asbestos abatement firm. They have the skills and tools to safely check your home for asbestos.
Again, often you can leave the asbestos where it is, as long as you don’t plan on disturbing it. In some cases, such as with vinyl asbestos laced floors, you can simply cover over them with new tile or flooring. In other cases, such as if you plan to remodel a home or room with asbestos building materials in it, you may need to first hire an asbestos abatement contractor to safely remove the asbestos building materials.
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