The Silent Killer
Most people have heard the term asbestos and may know a little bit about it. Asbestos was first used in home construction in the early 1940’s up until the 1970’s. It was used because it is a cheap and has good resistance to fire, and is really good for sound absorption.
This is all fine and dandy, until it became known that prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers can cause lung disease. So asbestos is fine in the home unless it is disturbed in some way. Once this happens little fibers become airborne, and they are easily inhaled into the lungs which leads to lung damage and possibly cancer. The 3 diseases associated with asbestos are: asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. So it is really important to get it checked out, especially if you have children or babies in the home. Asbestos litigation is an ongoing issue for many manufacturers.
So do you have asbestos in your home? It is hard to tell just by looking at the walls, you might not know what is behind it. Your home could be insulated with asbestos insulation. If you home is built before 1975, there are common areas asbestos can be found. Such as thermal insulation on boilers and pipes.
Look Under Foot
Some other areas it could be found is vinyl floor tiles. They retro look is good only if you aren’t being exposed to toxic materials. Not only is it found in the tiles, but also the glue or adhesive that was used to lay the tiles. If you happen to have these old tiles in your home you may want to check for tears, rips or worn spots which could cause asbestos to become airborne. If you do find a small tear or rip in the tile, seal it with something like duct tape until you can have it properly inspected. This will prevent any particles floating around your home.
The main thing to remember is, if you are living in an older home, and are thinking about doing remodeling of some kind, make sure you factor in the cost of asbestos removal and abatement. Chances are there will be asbestos in your home to some degree or another, and living with this deadly toxin in your home is not worth it.
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