What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a natural mineral found in the earth, made up of soft, flexible fibers. It was a popular material used in cloth, paper, cement, and plastic because it was resistant to heat, electricity, and corrosion.
There are two categories of asbestos. Amphibole has straight, jagged fibers, and serpentine has curly fibers.
Where Asbestos is Found
Asbestos is exported by China, Kazakhstan, and Russia and was once mined throughout North America.
Because of its durability, asbestos was regularly used in building materials. If your home was built before 1980, you’ll likely find asbestos in floor tiles, ceiling tiles, roof shingles, siding, insulation, and in the seams between sections of sheetrock.
The Importance of Removing Asbestos
Building with asbestos made sense at one time. It is essentially a fireproof, corrosion-resistant material that would not only last for many years to come but could potentially protect your family from house fires.
What manufacturers and builders didn’t understand at the time was that when asbestos becomes airborne, it is incredibly toxic to the human body.
Asbestos has been directly linked to many cancers and is the direct cause of the aggressive cancer Mesothelioma. Other health problems connected to asbestos exposure include:
- Lung cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Laryngeal cancer
- Pleural effusions
- Pleural plaques
- Diffuse pleural thickening
If asbestos in your home become airborne and you could breathe in these particles and risk developing any of these diseases. Most likely, you won’t even know how exactly you’re being exposed. For example, if your walls or ceiling contain asbestos, the particles could be released by drilling or patching or even by air movement from your ceiling fan.
Water pipes could also contain asbestos due to the cement used to hold the pipes in place. As the cement deteriorates, asbestos fibers can be released into the pipes and out your kitchen sink.
Asbestos Treatment and Removal
There’s no doubt you don’t want asbestos lurking in your home, slowly poisoning your family. Complete asbestos abatement is the only solution to eliminating these toxins from your home.
If you suspect asbestos in your home, don’t try to tackle asbestos removal on your own. You need to know exactly where the asbestos is found in your house and how to remove it safely and efficiently without endangering yourself and those around you.
Even testing should be done by an asbestos specialist to avoid spreading more air particles while taking samples.
The professionals at Air Quality Inc. can safely test the levels of asbestos in the air in your home as well as in your water supply to give you a good idea of what can stay and what can go. Samples of the building materials in your home and soil samples may also be taken.
Once the asbestos’ sources are identified, hire professionals with the knowledge and proper equipment to safely ensure asbestos removal.
If you suspect asbestos is in your home or water supply, contact Air Quality Inc. today for a quote and schedule a consultation.