What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that has been used in many products due to its unique and useful properties. It’s fireproof, durable, flexible and chemical resistant. But its tiny fibers, once they become airborne, can be inhaled, causing serious health problems.
Where can asbestos be found?
Asbestos can be found in a variety of places in buildings built before the 1980’s. Vinyl and linoleum flooring, fire proofing, roof shingles, and insulation (around boilers, ducts, pipes, sheeting, fireplaces) are some of the most common areas it was used.
What are the health effects of asbestos exposure?
Asbestos exposure can cause asbestosis, a long term and permanent scarring of the lungs which causes shortness of breath, and mesothelioma, a rare and particularly deadly form of lung cancer.
How can I test for asbestos?
The best option is to contact an industrial hygienist firm to perform sampling and testing, especially if you are planning a renovation or maintenance project that could disturb asbestos.
How do you safely remove asbestos?
Before any removal takes place, a licensed asbestos crew must contain the work area with poly sheeting and HEPA filtered negative air machines, creating a containment area that will prevent any asbestos fibers from escaping from the work area. The licensed asbestos workers, wearing full Tyvek suits and HEPA filtered respirators, then remove or otherwise contain the asbestos materials. After the abatement is complete, an extensive final cleaning is performed and the industrial hygienist runs air tests to ensure the work area is safe to be reoccupied.