How Do I Proceed If I Find Asbestos?
Builders constructed countless structures and homes using asbestos throughout the 20th century. Many people thought of it as the ‘miracle mineral.’ And it still is today- though to some extent.
Asbestos is a group of several naturally occurring minerals consisting of heat-resistant fibers. Manufacturers used it to create many US consumer items before researchers discovered its dangers.
According to scientists, it can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers. Though builders don’t use it in homes today, your home may have asbestos if it was built before the year 2000. What do you do if you need asbestos removal? Keep reading to find out.
More on Asbestos
Many countries still use asbestos. It resembles light, wispy hair particles that cling to other materials and become water and heat-resistant. This works as an excellent material for construction work. Producers can add it to:
- and others to make them stronger
However, if the air particles are broken up and released into the air, they could cause severe harm if you inhale them. The fibers can become permanently trapped in your frame. The effect of breathing it in isn’t observed instantly and could take months- if not years- to grow.
Where is it From?
It’s from all over the planet. However, its leading exporters are China, Russia, and Kazakhstan. North America once mined it. You can find it contaminating or in massive deposits in other minerals like vermiculite and talc.
Professionals typically locate chrysotile asbestos as veins within the serpentine rock. Many commercial asbestos deposits have five to six percent of the substance.
Kinds of Asbestos
The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Reaction Act of 1986 legally acknowledges six kinds of asbestos. They categorize them into two groups: Serpentine and amphibole.
Serpentine asbestos fibers are curly. There’s only a single type: Chrysolite only referred to as ‘white asbestos.’ On the other hand, amphibole asbestos fibers have a straight, spiky form. Experts recognize five types:
Are There Asbestos Products Currently on the Market?
Yes, although manufacturers must seek government acceptance before selling discontinued asbestos items. The discontinued products are:
- Asbestos reinforced plastics
- Asbestos roofing felt
- Vinyl asbestos tiles
- Asbestos coatings, adhesives, and sealants
- Asbestos cement
Where Might You Find Asbestos at Home?
If constructors built your home in 1999 and the years before, the chances of asbestos are high. Luckily, you can locate it and take the necessary measures to keep you (and your family) safe. Here are some of the areas in your home where you’re most likely to find it:
- In-floor coverings like vinyl floor tiles
- In electrical equipment, including fuse boxes, older lamp socket collars, and reception and electrical switch boxes.
- Piping and heating, including hot water and steam pipes covered with asbestos materials, duct and oil coverings, and coal and oil furnaces.
- In interior surfaces where asbestos could be located in patching compounds and textured paint on ceiling and wall joints or troweled-on or spray-on popcorn ceilings.
- Exterior surfaces like siding shingles and cement asbestos, window putty, and roofing.
- In the foundation- cement producers included asbestos fibers into the cement combination until the late ’70s. This made the cement lighter but more robust.
- In your garage, in heat-resistant fabrics and automotive brakes and clutches.
What to Do if You Come Across Asbestos
There are several things you must do when you find asbestos in your home:
The first and most logical-seeming reaction would be to panic. But, note that it’ll only make matters worse. Not only won’t you be able to think straight, but you’ll attract unwanted attention. Try and get a hold of your emotions and do the next thing on this list.
Contact a Professional
Most homeowners think that getting rid of the substance is easy and risk-free. They try to cut costs by handling the matter themselves. The result? They get one or all of the conditions seen earlier.
You can handle the situation if you’re an expert. However, if you’re not, the wisest thing to do is to call a specialist in the field.
Get Your Health Checked
This is vital even if you don’t feel the symptoms creeping in. It would be best if you had your physician run some tests on you to confirm your state of health. They can provide the necessary treatment and advise you on managing it.
Step Away and Caution Others
You may want to evacuate kids and pets if you have them, as they’re the most likely to get curious and start touching and smelling the asbestos.
Leave the place immediately after calling the experts until they clear the substance if you’re alone. Consider setting up a sign so that your friends, family, or whoever may visit may know that the area isn’t safe.
Wash Your Clothing and Body
Taking a bath and putting on other clothes is an excellent way to minimize its impact on you. Consider throwing the clothes you wore before in the washing machine. Or dispose of them properly.
Asbestos is a toxic substance. Therefore, you should treat it as such. Don’t take chances with your and other people’s health. If you’ve inhaled it already or you’ve found it in your home, know that all hope isn’t lost. You can save yourself (and those dear to you) by following the suggestions above.