Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material that was commonly used as a building material from the 1950’s to the 1990’s. Asbestos was popular due to its good fire protection properties, resistance to chemical erosion and because it was a great insulator. When asbestos is disturbed it releases fibres into the air and you run the risk of it cross contaminating. This can happen during construction or if the asbestos is located around furnaces, pipes or boilers.
If asbestos becomes airborne and is inhaled it can cause serious health problems. Asbestos can cause asbestosis which is a scarring of the lungs that makes breathing painful and difficult. It may also cause mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the lining of the chest or the abdominal cavity. Additionally, asbestos is known to cause lung cancer. Asbestos health risks depend on a variety of factors including the concentration of fibres in the air, the size of fibres that are inhaled, how long a person is exposed for and how often they are exposed.
If you reside in an older house, or you suspect there may be asbestos in your home, a visual home inspection would not be sufficient in detecting it. To determine if there is in fact asbestos in your home, a sample must be taken and sent to a certified laboratory. The laboratory will use one of the following analysis methods to figure out if asbestos is present: Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM), or Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). To keep you and your family safe from asbestos exposure, the sample should be taken by a certified professional. The main places that should be checked for asbestos in a home are floor and ceiling tiles, roof shingles, siding, attic insulation and pipe wrap. The goal of asbestos abatement is to safely clean and remove the asbestos without cross contaminating the rest of your property. If you suspect you may be living with asbestos call 1-800-349-7106 today for a free inspection.