What to Do if You Think You Have Asbestos
Updated: Mar 8
Did you know that more than 30 million tons of asbestos were used between 1900 and 1980? Although much stricter regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency are now in place, there is a good chance that if your home was built before 1980, you have asbestos. Before you panic, there are some key things to consider if you think you may have a problem.
Asbestos is Hard to Spot
Asbestos was used frequently in homes and buildings constructed before 1980. It was commonly used in building materials, heat-resistant fabrics, manufactured goods, packaging, gaskets, and coatings. Asbestos is now categorized as a carcinogen. It has been removed from most construction materials and household products. If there are trace amounts in a product, it must be labeled.
Asbestos is a natural mineral found in rock and soil that is made up of tiny fibers. These tiny fibers are extremely durable, and you cannot see, smell, or taste them. The fibers are too small to identify without the use of a microscope and thus require testing in a lab to determine exposure.
There are potential signs you can look for immediately in older homes. These include pipes that are uninsulated that have white or gray insulation remnants along the fittings, popcorn ceilings, square tiles measuring nine-inch, attic insulation, and floor mastic. These are just a few of the signs of asbestos and these indicators will not be conclusive without an evaluation and testing from a professional.
Be Careful of Exposure
It is important to know that most asbestos exposure only comes after asbestos-containing material is damaged or moved. Tiny asbestos fibers break off sending particles into the air that are then ingested into the lungs. Exposure over time could lead to serious and even fatal lung diseases. This occurs most often with projects involving demolition, remodeling, repair, and maintenance.
If your home is in good shape, you may not have to worry too much, but you may want to have asbestos removed to avoid any potential problems. To avoid exposure, it is important to be well informed about the common places where you may find asbestos so you know what to look for and what steps you should take to keep your home safe.
Get Information from the Experts
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers guidelines and information about how to collect asbestos samples for testing. It is highly recommended that a certified asbestos professional is hired to minimize exposure and to do the job safely and efficiently.
Call a Professional
Asbestos can be difficult to detect just by looking at it, unless it is labeled.
If you suspect your home may have asbestos, it is highly recommended that you have your home evaluated by a trained, accredited professional, especially before starting any home projects. Asbestos can be difficult to detect so an outside lab test will be the best way to determine if there is a problem.
Asbestos can certainly create a lot of problems if you find yourself working on a home project. However, taking necessary precautions and being informed should keep you and your family safe from the risks associated with asbestos exposure.
Pro Response restoration has the expertise and certifications necessary to safely remove asbestos. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any questions you may have about the process.
If you or a loved one has been effected physically by exposure to Asbestos and seek more information, please visit Mesothelioma Symptoms
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