Asbestos was commonly used in the 1980s for fireproofing and insulation in buildings and homes. In the late 1970s the serious health dangers of asbestos, such as cancer, were discovered, so it was replaced by safer alternatives. Although the installation of asbestos was halted, it remained in many buildings and homes where it had already been installed. If you live in a home with asbestos and believe you may be at risk to exposure, there are some things to consider in order to prevent exposure and harm.
Where is Asbestos Found?
Buildings and homes built before the 1990s are at high risk of containing asbestos. Asbestos can typically be found in roofing and flooring material, drywall, plaster, pipe and caulk insulation, and fireproofing materials, such as fire blankets. If your house was built before the 1990s it would be wise to have it inspected for asbestos. Contractors skilled in asbestos removal can safely secure and inspect the area. If there happens to be asbestos exposure caused by damaged materials, a contractor can help determine the next step to take. Prolonged exposure can have very harmful health effects, so it is important to act as soon as possible.
If you believe to have found asbestos in your home, it is important to not touch the asbestos-containing material. Not only can skin exposure be harmful, but messing with the material can cause damage and result in air exposure of the asbestos. This is especially important to remember when doing home renovations, because asbestos-containing materials can easily be disturbed by cutting, drilling, hammering and sanding. In such case, its important to avoid disturbing the asbestos-containing material, or hire a professional to do the work and warn them of the material locations.
If you are aware of asbestos-containing material in your home, you have two options:
- Inspect the asbestos-containing material regularly to ensure that the material has not been damaged or disturbed in any way. If it there is no damage, then there shouldn’t be any exposure. If there is damage, then you should contact a professional immediately.
- Have the asbestos-containing material removed and replaced. This can be the safest option to prevent any potential exposure from occurring.
It is best to do whatever is necessary to prevent the asbestos from being exposed to the air, because exposure can be very dangerous to you and your family. Even if you are very careful in dealing with asbestos in your home, accidents can happen and exposure can go undetected. To take extra precaution, you should contact an asbestos contractor Los Angeles, CA trusts to get a full inspection and assessment. They can advise you on what your best options are.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Nielsen Environmental for their insight into asbestos exposure and removal.