What Is Asbestos, and How Does It Develop?

September 30, 2021 12:10 am Published by Leave your thoughts

You’ve probably heard of asbestos being a hazardous material that can cause a range of health problems. This material was used in a range of construction projects for decades before it was understood how harmful it can be. If you think your home may contain asbestos or you’re about to embark on a home improvement project, it’s time to call in the experts.

Let’s take a closer look at the FAQS on why asbestos is a problem and what you should do about it.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos involves a collection of six minerals that make up a soft, heat-resistant fiber. It’s still actually used in many consumer products today, but it must make up less than 1 percent of the product.

Asbestos was used because of its fireproof and chemically-resistant nature. That said, asbestos has fallen out of favor in construction due to its connection to respiratory diseases like mesothelioma, along with other health conditions.

How does asbestosis cause cancer?

The issue is that it’s extremely difficult for your body to break down asbestos fibers. When they’re inhaled, they’re likely to remain in the body for years to come. This can lead to chronic, even life-threatening, conditions.

Asbestosis is a kind of respiratory disease that will leave the sufferer short of breath. It can lead to heart failure and mesothelioma, which is a type of cancer that affects the membranes lining the lungs, heart and abdomen. Other cancers are also liable to occur, like stomach and esophagus cancer.

When should I test for asbestos?

Asbestos may be present in different materials in the home; however, it will not be dangerous unless it’s disturbed. This is caused by activities like remodeling and demolition, which may send asbestos into the air.

That’s why you’re required to test for asbestos before beginning any construction project in your home. This will give you peace of mind knowing that it will be safe to proceed before you start a home improvement project.

Do newer homes need to be tested for asbestos?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now regulates asbestos, and many people mistakenly believe that newer homes are immune to asbestos hazards—but the fact is that asbestos has never actually been fully removed from new building materials. It may be present even in recent construction.

Federal regulations that are part of the Clean Air Act require asbestos testing be done prior to any renovation project. It’s also required in advance of any demolition project, regardless of the building’s age or condition.

The bottom line is that the smaller amounts of asbestos used today may be harmless when used as a building material, but they can become problematic when spread into the air. The previously-contained asbestos fibers spread in the form of dust particles, which can be hazardous to workers and anyone else who breathes it in.

Since the 1980s, HealthSafe Inspections, Inc. has been a leader in asbestos testing. Jim Baker has deep experience in testing for asbestos. Whether you need remediation, consultation or anything else, Jim Baker is here to help with all your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our indoor air-testing services.

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