Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil. Its fiber strength and heat resistance has been used in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire retardant.
Asbestos has also been used in a wide range of manufactured goods, mostly in building materials (roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper products, and asbestos cement products), friction products (automobile clutch, brake, and transmission parts), heat-resistant fabrics, packaging, gaskets, and coatings.
Generally, you can't tell whether a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it, unless it is labeled. If in doubt, this is when you contact us.
We will set up a onsite or phone consultation with one of our asbestos specialists and they will evaluate your particular situation, and go over options with you to best to your needs such as sample testing, air quality sampling, and remediation.
Taking samples yourself is not recommended. If building materials in your home aren’t damaged and won’t be disturbed, you do not need to have your home tested for asbestos. Material that is in good condition and will not be disturbed should be left alone.
Before renovating, you should test all suspected asbestos materials to ensure
that you are not disturbing asbestos containing components.
Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material during product use, demolition work, building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling. In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air.
Exposure to asbestos increases your risk of developing lung disease. That risk is made worse by smoking. In general, the greater the exposure to asbestos, the greater the chance of developing harmful health effects.
Disease symptoms may take many years to develop following exposure.Asbestos-related conditions can be difficult to identify. Healthcare providers usually identify the possibility of asbestos exposure and related health conditions like lung disease by taking a thorough medical history. This includes looking at the person’s medical, work, cultural and environmental history.
After a doctor suspects an asbestos-related health condition, they can use a number of tools to help make the actual diagnosis. Some of these tools are physical examination, chest x-ray and pulmonary function tests. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist who treats diseases caused by asbestos.
Three of the major health effects associated with asbestos exposure are:
For more information on these and other health effects of asbestos exposure see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Cancer Institute.
If the asbestos-containing material is more than slightly damaged or could be disturbed, there are two types of actions that can be taken by trained and accredited asbestos professionals: repair and removal.
Repair usually involves either sealing or covering asbestos material. With any type of repair, the asbestos remains in place.
Removal may be required when remodeling or making major changes to your home will disturb asbestos-containing material. Also, removal may be called for if asbestos-containing material is damaged extensively and cannot be otherwise repaired. Removal is complex and must be done only by a trained and accredited asbestos professional. Improper removal may actually increase your and your family’s exposure to asbestos fibers which is why it is so important to hire a professional that holds the highest level of safety standards and upholds all safety regulations.