FAQ’s About Asbestos in the Home

What health risks are associated with asbestos?

When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can cause lung cancer including a particular cancer known as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer found in the lining of the lungs, chest, heart and abdominal cavity. Asbestos can also cause a condition known as asbestosis. While not a cancer, asbestosis is a progressive disease of the lungs. Only a doctor can tell you if a health condition is the result of asbestos exposure. Be aware, however, that asbestos related diseases do not typically appear until about 20 years after asbestos exposure.

Why was asbestos used in homes and other buildings if it is dangerous?

Asbestos is extremely resistant to fire, which is why it was commonly used in building construction. It is also very lightweight and resistant to chemical corrosion. Builders and manufacturers stopped using asbestos when its potential health hazards became known. In Germany this occurred in the 1930’s, but the use of asbestos was widespread in the United States until the 1960’s.

Where in the home is asbestos found?

Asbestos can be found in insulation, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, shingles and siding. It was also used in some textured paints and in wraps used on pipes as well as in certain cement mixtures.

How do I know if there is asbestos in my home?

The only way to know if asbestos is present in your home is to have suspect materials tested or have an asbestos air quality test performed.

Must I have any asbestos I find removed?

No. Asbestos is only a danger if the asbestos fibers become airborne. This means that asbestos-containing tiles, insulation, shingles and other materials do not pose a health risk if they are in good condition and remain undisturbed. You need only worry about these materials if they are fraying, breaking or deteriorating in some way. An asbestos air quality test will tell you whether or not there is any dangerous airborne asbestos in your home.

If AirMD finds asbestos in my home’s air, will you remove it?

No. It is a conflict of interest for an environmental testing company to remove asbestos. A company that does both air testing and asbestos removal may be tempted to report air quality problems even where there are none in an effort to sell their services. Because we perform air quality testing only, you can trust the results you get from us.

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By Simon Hahessy | Posted in Air Quality Testing