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Asbestos in Homes: Common Location & Its Safe Management

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Asbestos in Homes: Common Location & Its Safe Management

Last Updated on August 22, 2023

 

The Hidden Dangers of Asbestos in Older Homes

As the trend of DIY home renovations continues to rise, homeowners are diving into projects with enthusiasm and a desire to transform their living spaces. However, many are unaware of the lurking dangers hidden within the walls, floors, and ceilings of older homes. One such danger is asbestos, a toxic mineral that poses severe health risks when its fibers become airborne.

Understanding Asbestos and Its Risks

Asbestos, a mineral composed of thin fibers, was commonly used in residential construction products before the 1980s. When these products are damaged or disturbed, the fibers can become airborne, posing a significant health risk to anyone who inhales them. Prolonged exposure to these fibers can lead to mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart.

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Quick Fact: Most asbestos-related diseases are diagnosed at least 15 years after exposure.

Where Might You Find Asbestos in Your Home?

If your home was constructed before the 1980s, there’s a chance it contains asbestos in various materials, including:

  • Cement asbestos board siding/undersheeting
  • Roofing felt for shingles
  • Insulation around steam pipes
  • Certain vinyl floor tiles
  • Textured paint
  • Vermiculite insulation

Also Read Common Types of Asbestos and How to Identify Them

While many residential uses of asbestos have been phased out, it’s still legal in the U.S. for specific applications.

Common Scenarios of Asbestos Exposure

https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/sites/default/files/styles/content_embedded_image/public/2022-06/Property%20disclosure%20tool_1.JPG?itok=dlO3oAbn

Homeowners can unknowingly expose themselves to asbestos in various ways:

  • Attic Renovation: Disturbing old insulation that contains asbestos.
  • Garage Work: Releasing asbestos fibers from brake components.
  • Home Decor: Drilling into asbestos-containing drywall.
  • Flooring: Removing old vinyl floor tiles that contain asbestos.
  • Ceiling Work: Scraping off asbestos-laden popcorn ceilings.
  • Basement Upgrades: Cutting asbestos insulation on pipes.
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Also Read Asbestos Exposure – Health Effects & Symptoms [2023]

Protecting Yourself and Your Family

If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, it’s crucial to take precautions:

  • Do avoid contact with potential asbestos materials.
  • Do hire professionals for inspections, testing, or removal.
  • Don’t disturb materials that might contain asbestos.
  • Don’t attempt to collect asbestos samples without proper training.

Avoiding asbestos exposure is the best way to protect yourself from related health risks. If you live or work in an older building, it’s crucial to be aware of potential asbestos-containing materials.

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If you suspect the presence of asbestos, do not disturb it. Contact a professional for testing and, if necessary, safe asbestos removal in Toronto.

Also ReadHiring An Asbestos Abatement Professional For Removal [2023]

Testing for Asbestos

If you’re concerned about potential asbestos exposure, consult with a trained asbestos professional. They can take samples and send them to accredited labs for testing. While DIY test kits are available, they might pose exposure risks, and professional testing is always recommended.

The Legal Implications

Violating asbestos regulations can result in severe penalties, including hefty fines and even prison time. Always ensure you’re compliant with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations and any state-specific asbestos laws.

Conclusion

Asbestos poses a silent threat in many older homes. By being informed and taking the necessary precautions, homeowners can ensure the safety of their families and protect themselves from potential health risks.

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