Asbestos is the name given to a number of naturally occurring, fibrous silicate minerals mined for their useful properties such as thermal insulation, chemical and thermal stability, and high tensile strength.
Asbestos was commonly used in building materials. Many products are still in place today contain asbestos,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos, according to the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen and is the only known cause of mesothelioma. This serious cancer is caused by breathing in or ingesting asbestos fibers, which become lodged in the thin membrane that lines and encases the lungs andabdominal cavity.
One source of asbestos exposure often overlooked is in the home. If the house was built prior to the 1980s, it was likely built with some asbestos-containing materials.
It is important to keep in mind that exposure can occur anytime asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed. Today, the risk of asbestos exposure is a growing concern because of the number of older homes undergoing renovations and other remodeling projects. A licensed professional should be called to perform testing if the house has crumbling or clearly damaged materials in it, or if any type of remodeling or renovations will be taking place. By doing this, it allows the homeowner to take appropriate action and have the materials safely removed.
In general, asbestos material is considered safe when it is in good condition and shows no signs of damage. If the material is damaged or worn, a professional may suggest either asbestos abatement or encapsulating the product with a coating meant to prevent fibers from becoming airborne.
At no point should a homeowner attempt to perform asbestos removal on their own. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Improper handling of the material could potentially release fibers into the air and create a health hazard for others in the area.
The asbestos survey includes a visual assessment to identify and disclose potential sources of asbestos in the home, including material sampling, lab analysis, and recommendations for for repair, remove, enclose, or encapsulating the asbestos.
Avoid disturbing asbestos materials yourself — there are no significant health risks if materials containing asbestos are tightly bound in products and in good condition; sealed behind walls and floorboards; isolated in an attic; and left undisturbed
Before doing any major renovations, remodeling or demolitions, reduce your risk of exposure in the home by hiring a professional to test for asbestos
If asbestos is found, hire a qualified asbestos removal specialist to get rid of it before beginning work
Asbestos Floor Tiles