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Asbestos - Part 2

In the previous blog, we observed general risks of asbestos exposure, as well as different products that contain asbestos. Let’s look now at the places where asbestos can be found in our own homes. Next, we will present the steps that should be followed if you find yourself in a dangerous exposure situation.

Asbestos

Where Asbestos Hazards May Be Found in the Home

  • Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.
  • Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.
  • Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was banned in 1977.
  • Artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces may contain asbestos.
  • Older products, such as stove-top pads, may have some asbestos compounds.
  • Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves may be protected with asbestos paper, millboard or cement sheets.
  • Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.
  • Hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.

What Should Be Done About Asbestos in the Home

  • If in good condition, leave asbestos material alone, because will not release asbestos fibers. There is no danger unless the asbestos is disturbed and fibers are released and then inhaled into the lungs. Just check it regularly, but don't touch it. Look for signs of wear or damage, such as tears, abrasions or water damage. Damaged material may release asbestos fibers.
  • If slightly damaged, the best way to deal with it is to limit access to the area and not touch or disturb it.
  • If damaged, discard it after checking with local health, environmental or other appropriate agencies to find out proper handling and disposal procedures.
  • If more than slightly damaged, or if you are going to make changes in your home that might disturb it, repair or removal by a professional is needed.

Remember:

  • Before you have your house remodeled, find out whether asbestos materials are present. If you want to know how to identify materials that contain asbestos, and how to handle them read more here.
  • Unnecessary asbestos removal is a waste of money.
  • Improper asbestos removal may actually increase the health risks to you and your family.
  • Do not dust, sweep or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos. These actions will disturb tiny asbestos fibers and may release them into the air. Remove dust by wet-mopping or with a special HEPA vacuum cleaner used by trained asbestos contractors.
  • Always follow safety instructions when you see warning signs regarding the presence of asbestos exposure.

If you want to know more about Asbestos Professionals: who they are and how they can help you read here.

Resources:
      www.nachi.org

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