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What is the best way to test for asbestos? How do you know if you have been exposed to asbestos? If your current property was built between 1930 and the late 1970s it's more than likely that asbestos was used during construction. It was widely used for insulating properties, offered fire protection, tensile strength and resistance to chemical erosion.

Many properties from 1930 through to the late 1970s had asbestos for:-

  • Mechanical insulations - such as boilers, tanks, vessels and pipes
  • Spray applied fireproofing - this was used as fire protection on structural supports like ceilings, walls, columns and beams
  • Linoleum - in older properties the backing paper on some linoleum (sheet flooring) can contain high concentrations of asbestos
  • Floor tiles - resilient floor tiles no matter what size may have been manufactured using asbestos.
  • Drywall taping compound - often referred to in the construction industry as drywall mud, drywall taping compound usually contained asbestos. Drywall taping was used to cover seams, holes, nails and screws in order to provide a smooth appearance
  • Asbestos cement boards and tiles - primarily located on exterior buildings, asbestos cement boards formed wall covering and roofs. They were also sometimes used as indoor electrical panels, heat shields around fireplaces and heating components.
  • Textured decorative coating - asbestos featured in many homes as textured decorative finishes. Older buildings may still have walls and ceiling coatings that contain asbestos.

The problem with asbestos is it becomes harmful when it’s damaged

The hidden killer...

The problem with asbestos is it becomes harmful when it’s damaged and gets into the air. When loose, asbestos can quickly crumble into a powder releasing invisible fibers that you can breathe in, nasty. Cutting, sanding, scraping or trying to repair anything made using asbestos in your home can spell danger to your health. If you do have an old property, asbestos may appear as flakes or chunks of white material which can be easily crumbled by hand. Be careful and do not disturb it, it’s the worst thing you could possibly do.

The health risks of exposure to asbestos can be extremely serious especially over a long period of time. Asbestos fibers are invisible to the human eye because they are so small. Light and fluffy, the fibers can float in the air for a long time so the chances of you breathing them in and entering the body are very high. Unfortunately there are a number of dreadful asbestos related diseases such as:-

  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma and cancer of the lining of the lung or abdomen
  • Gastro-intestinal cancer

The Asbestos Test at Home:-

The timescale of breathing in asbestos in the home which results in the first signs of related diseases can vary between 10 to 40 years. In a nutshell, the more you are exposed to asbestos, the more risk of getting a related disease. Don’t let asbestos ruin your health The only sure fire way of knowing if your property contains asbestos is to have it tested with a home health environment asbestos test. Let the experts study your home collected sample that can be then easily tested in the lab. Let’s face it, it's not worth taking any risks where you or your family’s health is concerned.

Asbestos

Asbestos was one of the biggest health risks uncovered after using the material in buildings and products for the home for many years. Asbestos now causes chronic conditions including a cancer called Mesothelioma. Removing asbestos from the home and work place takes an extremely careful procedure and must be done by professionals because the asbestos fibers are so toxic and dangerous. Never try to remove Asbestos yourself and always have a professional check if your house or building has Asbestos before you renovate or build any further. Read through some of the following resources and find out how you can make your home free from asbestos.

All about Asbestos: United States Environmental Protection Agency: www2.epa.gov

Locations for EPA agencies: www2.epa.gov

Important Reading before handling Asbestos in the Home: www.cpsc.gov

Mesothelioma Treatment Options: Asbestos.com: www.asbestos.com

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance: www.mesothelioma.com