Learning about a life threatening condition is devastating, especially when you know nothing about it. We not only strive to help you with educating you but also are here as support for those going through a similar situation.
Most people are aware these days that exposure to asbestos poses a health risk. It's now widely known that asbestos can cause fatal illnesses such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. But what many people may not realize is that millions upon millions of people live with asbestos every single day. That's because asbestos was used in the construction of millions of homes over a span of several decades.
If you're living in a home that was constructed between the years of 1920 and 1980, it's very likely that your home contains asbestos.
Asbestos Offers Lots of Benefits
Asbestos offers lots of benefits that made it attractive as a building material. The fire-resistant properties of asbestos helped to make fatal home fires less likely. And homes could be made more energy efficient thanks to the great insulating properties of asbestos. Those benefits spurred the liberal use of asbestos in new home construction in the years before the health risks were known.
Asbestos was commonly used in the fabrication of construction materials such as floor and ceiling tiles, siding and roofing (including shingles), and heating and ventilation ductwork and piping. Asbestos was also liberally used for many forms of insulating materials, including spray insulation, roll insulation, and loose insulation.
But as the health risks of asbestos became apparent, its use became rigorously regulated. By 1980, most nations had severely curtailed the use of asbestos. If your home was built after 1980, it's unlikely to contain any significant amounts of asbestos. But if your home is older, it's quite likely that asbestos was used as a construction material in your home.
No Need to Panic Over the Mere Presence of Asbestos
What should you do if you find that your home contains asbestos? Experts recommend that in most cases you do nothing. If the asbestos hasn't degraded, or isn't being disturbed in some way, it's likely to be doing very little harm.
Asbestos becomes a problem when the fibers are released into a home's environment where people might ingest them. That usually only happens during the course of a home repair or renovation, or when the home is damaged. And asbestos that has become friable (reduced to a loose, powdery or easily crushable texture) also presents a real risk.
If you suspect that asbestos has become a danger in your home, there's only one wise course of action: get professional help. In most municipalities, only licensed contractors are permitted to handle asbestos clean-ups. And homeowners that attempt to handle the problem themselves place everyone in their household at great risk.
Be Aware of the Risks
If you're living in a home that might contain asbestos, it's likely that there's no reason to be immediately concerned. In spite of the substantial health risks that asbestos exposure presents, in most cases doing nothing presents less danger than having the asbestos removed.
But you should know whether asbestos is present in your home. Consult an expert if necessary. Armed with that knowledge, you'll know whether to be concerned if damage to your home, or the disturbance of renovation or repair projects, presents a risk to your family. As the wise old saying notes, forewarned is forearmed.
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