If you suspect asbestos or a home inspector found something that may be asbestos you need to have it properly tested. Air sampling with specific asbestos testing equipment and taking a bulk or material sample is your first step in determining if you have asbestos-containing materials (ACM) and the extent of your asbestos contamination.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that form as masses of long silky fibres. Asbestos is mined and used for its thermal insulation, chemical and thermal stability, and high tensile strength. Asbestos is commonly used as an acoustic insulator, thermal insulation, fire proofing and in other building materials. Many products are in use today that still contain asbestos.
Asbestos is made up of microscopic bundles of fibres that may become airborne when asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are damaged or disturbed. When these fibres get into the air they can be inhaled. Once they are inhaled, the fibres can remain and build up in the lungs.
Health Effects from Asbestos
Asbestos fibres are too small to be visible. They can become easily airborne when asbestos-containing materials are disturbed or during improper removal.. Breathing high levels of these microscopic asbestos fibres can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma
- Lung Cancer – Lung cancer causes the largest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure. Miners, millers, manufacturing of asbestos, and those who use asbestos and its products are more likely to develop lung cancer than the general population. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are coughing and a change in breathing. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent chest pains, hoarseness, and anaemia. People who have been exposed to asbestos and also are exposed to some other cancer-causing product, such as cigarette smoke, have a greater risk of developing lung cancer than people who have only been exposed to asbestos.
- Asbestosis – Asbestosis is a scarring of the lung tissue from an acid produced by the body’s attempt to dissolve these fibres. The scarring may eventually become so severe that the lungs can no longer
function. The latency period (the time it takes for the disease to develop) is often 10-20 years
- Mesothelioma – Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining (membrane) of the lung, chest, abdomen, and heart and almost all cases are linked to exposure to asbestos. This disease may not show up until many years after asbestos exposure. This is why great efforts are being made to prevent school children from being exposed.
Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACM)
- Cement Pipes
- Laboratory Hoods/Table Tops
- Cement Wallboard
- Laboratory Gloves
- HVAC Duct Insulation
- Cement Siding
- Fire Blankets
- Boiler Insulation
- Asphalt Floor Tile
- Fire Curtains
- Vinyl Floor Tile
- Elevator Equipment Panels and elevator brake shoes
- Flexible Fabric Connections
- Cooling Towers
- Pipe Insulation (corrugated air-cell, block, etc.)
- Construction Mastics (floor tile, carpet, ceiling tile, etc.)
- Acoustical Plaster
- Vinyl Wall Coverings
- Decorative Plaster Spackling Compounds
- High Temperature Gaskets
- Textured Paints/Coatings
- Roofing Shingles and Roofing Felt
- Ceiling Tiles and Lay-in Panels
- Base Flashing
- Thermal Paper Products
- Spray-Applied Insulation
- Fire Doors
- Electrical Cloth
- Blown-in Insulation /vermiculite
- Electrical Panel Partitions
- Taping Compounds
- (thermal) Packing Materials (for wall/floor penetrations)
- Electric Wiring Insulation,
If you suspect asbestos-containing materials, leave it alone, call The Mold Guy and have it analyzed by a qualified professional. Until you have the laboratory results back, treat the material as if it were asbestos and leave it untouched.
For asbestos testing call The Mold Guy at: 416-273-6858