The Importance Of Asbestos Testing
Asbestos was once used as a miracle mineral that was strong, heat resistant and insulating. However, it can cause a range of serious health problems including lung cancer and mesothelioma. It is important to test for asbestos in your home and your workplace. The risk of exposure and disease can be prevented by getting your property tested for asbestos before any renovation or demolition work is done.
When asbestos-containing materials deteriorate, or are not properly contained during demolition and renovation work, home maintenance (such as plumbing or heating), vehicle maintenance (brakes and clutches) or mining and manufacturing, tiny fibers can be released into the air. These fibers can be inhaled into the lungs and remain there for many years. Over time, these fibers can build up in the lungs and cause lung disease. This condition is called mesothelioma. It most often affects the linings of the chest and abdomen, but it can also affect other parts of the body. Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases typically take years to develop. They usually don’t become noticeable until a person is about 50 years old or more.
Asbestos can be found in building materials, including some roofing, siding, and shingles. It also can be found in some pipe insulation and other old household products, such as gas-fired fireplace liners, stove top pads, ironing boards, and carpets. Disturbing or cutting these materials can release the asbestos fibers into the air. If you think your home or business may have asbestos, you should call a trained and accredited professional for testing and removal assistance. Asbestos testing kits are available for sale in home improvement and hardware stores. They range in price from $10 to $35.
When a building is being renovated or demolished, it may be necessary to test for asbestos exposure. If this is the case, the building owner and contractor should hire a professional testing company to conduct the work. A contractor performing any type of repair or renovation activity that could disturb an asbestos-containing material must have a valid license and be trained to safely handle the materials. The contractor should also apply a wetting agent to the material before it is removed, which will make it easier to clean up and less likely to release asbestos fibers into the air. In addition to testing for the presence of asbestos, a licensed contractor should also notify the appropriate governing authority about any non-licensed work that is being done. This requires a brief written record with a list of workers involved and the level of likely exposure for each worker. Depending on your location, asbestos survey costs can vary between $200 and $900 to complete. The cost is influenced by how difficult it is to get to the areas that need testing.
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