Asbestos Exposure Risks In Older Homes
Do you live in a home that was built prior to the 1980s? If you do, then there is a very good chance that there is asbestos in some areas of your house.
Asbestos was widely used in the construction industry until the late 1970s, it is important for your health to know a bit about asbestos and where you might find toxic asbestos materials in your home.
If you know where materials that contain asbestos may be located and how to handle them, you will be in a much better position to avoid being exposed to this potentially dangerous material.
Asbestos – What Is It?
Asbestos is a mineral that won’t conduct electricity, heat and fire. Due to its strength as well as its chemical resistance and soundproofing qualities, asbestos has been used over the centuries in a multitude of industrial and domestic products.
The construction industry has incorporated an array of asbestos products in various applications for residential and commercial properties. Asbestos has also been widely used in shipyards, chemical plants, and power plants. Asbestos is not dangerous as long as it remains undisturbed. But the major problem comes when it is disturbed or breaks. It may release fiber asbestos into air and become airborne.
If a person breathes in these particles there is a chance that he or she will ultimately come down with an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma or asbestosis. Both of these diseases are fatal.
Where Are the Asbestos Products in Your Home?
Handling asbestos is potentially dangerous you should hire an asbestos professional to locate the asbestos in your home. Usually asbestos is found at your plumbing system. Often hot water pipes were wrapped with what appears to be thick white tape. The “tape” is probably asbestos. Asbestos is commonly used in home exterior too such as siding and roofing shingles.
If you think that your home’s siding may contain asbestos you should walk around your house and see if any of your siding is torn, ripped, or damaged. It is also applied for your roofing. You will need to hire a professional to replace it because it is too risky to do it yourself.
If you do attempt to change your siding you will potentially expose yourself and your family to asbestos particles.
There may also be asbestos in the cement blocks and mortar that form your home’s foundation. If these blocks aren’t broken or cracked, and if the mortar seems solid, there is probably little risk. Just make sure that the blocks are thoroughly painted and that the paint on the blocks and mortar isn’t peeling.
In addition, if your wallboards are textured they may contain asbestos. Asbestos might also be found in ceiling and floor tiles, and even in cabinet facings and countertops in your kitchen. People who have been stricken with asbestos related diseases have held the companies who manufactured these products accountable.