Asbestos – Confronting a Health Risk in your House

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In the past, a mineral fiber called asbestos was broadly used in a wide array of products, ranging from construction, to insulation, to textiles. Valued for its exceptional heat-resistance, flexibility, and durability, asbestos was extremely popular in many industries. Not until the late 20th century did the link between asbestos and lung damage and cancer come to light. Companies that used asbestos in their products or workplaces suddenly found them the target of countless lawsuits filed on behalf of sick or Deceased workers and consumers.

Since that time, the handling of asbestos has become heavily regulated, researched, and reformed. Even detailed procedures for asbestos removals were put in place to protect the public health. Despite these reforms, however, asbestos is still around – particularly in older buildings and products, where it poses just as much of a health risk as it did decades ago. Many homeowners are concerned, with good reason, about asbestos in the home.

Finding Asbestos

Asbestos is very difficult for the average person to identify. In most cases, the only way for a homeowner to determine the presence of asbestos on his or her own is by looking for written documentation on products, in the form of tags, labels, and the like. If you suspect that a product may contain asbestos but can not find any relevant documentation, consider calling a professional to take a look.

Dealing with the Danger of Asbestos

The health risk of asbestos is a result of inhaling or ingesting microscopic airborne asbestos fibers. In an inert state, or when securely contained inside other materials, asbestos is generally harmless. Because of this, homeowners confronted with asbestos in the home should ask themselves several questions before deciding on a course of action. First, is the asbestos-containing product damaged or deteriorated in any way? If the answer is yes, immediate action should be taken, as asbestos fibers may already be leaking into the air. If no damage is apparent, examine the location and nature of the product or material. Is it in a place where people are likely to come in contact with or damage it? Is the product fragile and / or old? If so, it may also be a good idea to have it removed, in the interest of safety.

Call the Professionals

If an asbestos containing product is endangering the health of the residents, it needs to be removed or repaired as soon as possible. This is a job for professionals. Attempting to remedy the problem without the proper tools and training is likely to do more harm than good by releasing more asbestos into the air. Do not risk the safety of everyone around you by trying to do the job yourself – find a trained professional to do it for you.

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Source by Joseph Devine

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