Asbestos refers to a class of six minerals that occur naturally that are composed of fibers that are resistant to high temperatures. Before the risks of asbestos were understood, it was included in the production of thousands of consumer goods in the United States. Mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other malignancies are all caused by asbestos exposure.
Before the 1980s, asbestos was the industry standard when it came to fire protection equipment that was utilized in the construction of homes. It wasn’t until far into the 20th century that we had a complete understanding of the adverse consequences on human health.
Asbestos was used as a fire retardant in the construction of millions of homes, commercial buildings, and other structures, and we are only now becoming aware of the negative effects that this has had on our health.
What Exactly Is Asbestos?
Until the 1980s, a significant amount of construction in homes and businesses involved the use of asbestos, which is a substance that can prevent fires from starting. There is an extremely high probability that asbestos was used in the construction of your home if it was built before the 1980s.
The amount of asbestos that was used in your home may have varied over time. If you have reason to believe that your home contains asbestos, you should have it removed in a safe and timely manner as soon as possible to protect the health of anybody who lives there.
Because of its heat resistance as well as its fiber strength, asbestos was once a widely used material in the construction industry. It can be found in anything, from raw materials for construction to produced commodities like shingles and tiles, among other things.
What are the Types of Asbestos?
Chrysotile, sometimes known as white asbestos, is the type of asbestos that has the most common use. Today, it is used in the construction of the ceilings, walls, floors, and roofs of residences and commercial buildings.
In addition, chrysotile asbestos was utilized by manufacturers as an insulating material for pipes, ducts, and appliances, as well as brake linings for automobiles, gaskets, and boiler seals.
Brown asbestos, also known as amosite, was most frequently utilized in the production of cement sheets and pipe insulation. It is also present in products such as ceiling tiles, insulating boards, and other types of thermal insulation.
A particularly high level of resistance to heat is possessed by amosite asbestos. As a result of this, this variety of asbestos was frequently utilized in the production of goods such as ceiling tiles and insulation. After chrysotile, it was the type that was found in the United States the second most frequently.
In the past, crocidolite, often known as blue asbestos, was frequently utilized in the insulation of steam engines. In addition to that, it was utilized in the production of some spray-on coatings, pipe insulation, plastics, and cement-based products.
Crocidolite has a reputation for being the most dangerous mineral. This is because the crocidolite fibers have a very small size, which makes them simpler to inhale.
Crocidolite asbestos is responsible for a disproportionately high number of illnesses and fatalities compared to other forms. The heat resistance of this mineral is significantly lower than that of the primary forms of asbestos. As a direct consequence of this, it became less popular. Nevertheless, there have been sporadic reports of it being present in various building materials.
The asbestos known as anthophyllite has a color that might be described as yellowish-brown. This particular type is mostly made up of magnesium and iron. This type of amphibole asbestos, like other types of amphibole asbestos, consists of long fibers that resemble needles and are easy to breathe in.
The type of asbestos known as anthophyllite is significantly less common than other varieties of asbestos. Because of this, anthophyllite asbestos was rarely employed in the manufacturing of consumer goods. There have been isolated instances of it being discovered in cement and insulation.
Asbestos tremolite can range in color from white to dark green almost black and has fibers that are long and pointed. This particular variety of asbestos was frequently employed in the production of insulation and other building materials.
Other prevalent forms of asbestos tend to be lighter in color than actinolite asbestos, which gives it its name. It has lengthy fibers that are somewhat pointed, and these fibers are easy to inhale. Iron, magnesium, calcium, and silicon are some of the elements that are found in this form of asbestos.
It is somewhat less common than the many other forms of asbestos. As a consequence of this, this variety of asbestos is not discovered in consumer products nearly as frequently.
How Can I Tell if There Is Asbestos in My Home?
Employing a professional asbestos inspector is your best bet if you want to determine whether or not your property contains this chemical. The majority of home inspectors no longer do routine checks for asbestos, although this was historically standard practice.
The inspectors will collect samples to send to a laboratory for analysis, evaluate the asbestos material, and make recommendations regarding any necessary changes. For a house that is approximately 1,500 square feet in size, the initial inspection, lab expenses, and report might cost anywhere from $400 to $800.
Examine Your Home for Abrasions, Scratches, and Water Damage
Check your home regularly for any signs of water damage, tears, or abrasions if you have any reason to suspect that a portion of your property may contain asbestos. If you find material that is only slightly damaged, restrict access to the area and make sure no one touches or disturbs the item.
If asbestos material is more than mildly damaged, or if you are planning alterations in your home that might disturb it, you need to get it repaired or removed by a professional.
Inquire for an Inspection
However, before you engage a company to remove asbestos from your property, you should get in touch with an industrial hygiene company to have the affected area inspected. A correct evaluation will consist of a comprehensive visual inspection, as well as the meticulous collecting and study of sample data.
If asbestos is present, the inspector needs to provide a written report that describes the location of the asbestos as well as the level of damage it has caused and then makes recommendations for its removal or prevention.
Additionally, this inspector can carry out checks following removal or repair to ensure that the area has been cleaned appropriately. After receiving this report, homeowners can next get in touch with an asbestos removal professional and begin discussing a cleanup strategy with them. Locals rely on the best asbestos removal services in Perth which consist of professionals properly equipped and geared up when they arrive for the difficult and risky process.
Get in Touch with an Asbestos Removal Contractor
Obtaining a written contract that details the work plan, cleanup, and the appropriate federal, state, and local rules that the contractor is required to follow should be done before the beginning of the job. If you choose to have the asbestos removed, you should make sure to receive a written guarantee from the contractor that he or she complied with all of the local rules regarding asbestos removal and disposal.
What Should You Do if Asbestos Is Found While Remodeling?
It’s likely that after you start working on house improvements, you’ll find something that looks like asbestos and end up suspecting it to be asbestos. First and foremost, there is no need to freak out. Even though asbestos poses a health risk, the most prudent course of action is to remove it as quickly and carefully as is practicable to cut down on exposure.
It is essential to put the job on hold so that the material is not disturbed any more than is necessary. Put your tools down and search the area thoroughly if you believe you may have found some. You can easily agitate asbestos by drilling holes in it, hammering on it, replacing ceiling tiles with new ones, removing old insulation, or engaging in any number of other typical home improvement activities.
You are not allowed to move, touch, or throw away any of these products. Instead, you should look into hiring an expert who specializes in asbestos abatement to conduct the removal. You might get in touch with a local company in your region, but before you do so, check to see whether or not they have the appropriate certifications to deal safely with asbestos.
In addition to this, it is essential to keep in mind that asbestos cannot be disposed of in the trash or dumpster. When getting rid of asbestos, there are certain regulations regarding the packing and labeling of the material.
Any form of asbestos exposure should be avoided at all costs. Any form of asbestos exposure can result in a variety of health problems, the most serious of which are mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Asbestos has been deemed to be a dangerous hazard by a variety of organizations and government health bodies.
People who suspect they may have been exposed to asbestos in the past should discuss their concerns with their primary care physician. Monitoring for any indications or symptoms of asbestos exposure might be assisted by an expert in the healthcare field.