Living in a home with intact asbestos doesn’t necessarily pose a health risk. Most people who suffer major asbestos-related health problems are exposed to the substance over extended periods of time, such as workers in factories that produce asbestos products. When these materials in your home deteriorate over time, or become disturbed or damaged, asbestos fibers can be released into the air. It’s a material with a lot of staying power (fibers can stay around your house for years). Once released, these fibers (especially the small invisible variety) can be breathed into your lungs.
Over time, these fibers can build up in your lungs, causing lung cancer and mesothelioma (a cancer of the lung and abdominal cavity lining). Asbestos is a dangerous enough health risk that it even has a medical condition named for its effects: “Asbestosis, which is a permanent scarring of the lung tissue. These scars can prove deadly over time (source: EPA).”
There are several places asbestos may be found in your home. Asbestos is separated into single fibers and added to products as a flame retardant or used as insulation. Paint, insulation, fiberboard, siding, soundproofing tiles, roof shingles, floor tiles and cement have all included asbestos at one time or another, and some of these products remain in homes and businesses today. Even vermiculite, the small white Styrofoam-like pellets found in potting soil, contains asbestos.
In the late 1970s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and similar agencies in Europe began certifying professionals in asbestos identification and removal. If you think that you may have asbestos in your home, you should call C.A.R.E. Property Services to come out and perform a thorough evaluation of your home or business. Taking samples of materials that contain asbestos is dangerous, as the process releases airborne filaments into the air. You shouldn’t take samples yourself!
If the samples come back positive and you suddenly find yourself feeling like you share your home with a sleeping killer, what should you do? Rest at ease! Our Certified Technicians can put together a well-constructed attack plan to remove the asbestos from your home and set your mind at ease!