You probably know, or have at least heard, that asbestos is unsafe to come in contact with, as it can cause terrible health problems like respiratory issues and life-threatening conditions like cancer. But you are not alone if you are not sure what exactly makes asbestos so dangerous. Let’s get a better understanding and take a look at what asbestos is, and why asbestos testing in Basalt, CO is so important.
What is asbestos?
These days, most everyone associates asbestos with being a health hazard, but did you know that it was normal to use it in building construction from the 1940s through the late 1970s? Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in the manufacturing of insulation material for homes, commercial structures, schools and other types of buildings. Its mineral fibers are heat and fire resistant, which is what made it a top option for building insulation.
Sources of asbestos in older homes and buildings include:
- Insulation materials: Insulation is placed in the walls and ceilings of homes as a way to maintain indoor temperature. Insulation materials installed prior to the 1980s should be tested for asbestos, especially if the material is flaking.
- Ceiling tiles: Because asbestos ceiling tiles were easy to install and offered good soundproofing, they were once popular inside homes and in basements.
- Wallpaper: Do not attempt to scrape and remove peeling wallpaper in old buildings, as asbestos may be in the paper and adhesives used to manufacture older vinyl wallpaper products. Have it tested first.
As mentioned earlier, building materials with asbestos were regularly used in structures built prior to 1978. Unfortunately, at the time, builders were unaware that asbestos could cause serious harm to human health. When these building materials are disturbed, asbestos dust becomes airborne and is then easily inhaled. People who are exposed to large amounts of asbestos may eventually find themselves suffering from the following ailments:
- Asbestosis is an inflammatory condition that affects the lungs. It causes shortness of breath, and over time the inhaled asbestos particles can scar the lung tissue, leading to further complications.
- Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that wreaks havoc on the lining of the lungs and chest cavity. A healthy lining is needed to protect the lungs, but mesothelioma weakens the lining, rendering it useless and leaving the lungs exposed to dangers.
- Lung cancer is often linked to smoking, which leads to a cancerous tumor on the lungs. However, long-term exposure to and inhaling asbestos fibers can increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer.
Because inhaling asbestos is so dangerous, all older buildings are required to get asbestos testing in Basalt, CO. Testing has become a vital necessity in ensuring the public’s safety, and is often carried out during home inspections before a home loan approval or prior to building demolition.
The use of asbestos building materials stopped in the late 1970s, but even structures constructed through the late 1980s are also considered at risk for asbestos contamination. If you own an older building that has exposed insulation, ceilings or flooring, contact the professionals at HealthSafe Inspections Inc. for asbestos testing in Basalt, CO.
Categorised in: Asbestos Testing
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