Asbestos in the Home
Exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. You may not know it, but there is a possibility that there is asbestos in your home right now. Where can asbestos be found in the home? What should you do if you have asbestos in your home? Learn about the answers to these and other asbestos questions in this post.
Asbestos is a mineral that was once very popular in construction and other fields because of its strength, ability to provide insulation against heat, and fire resistance. While asbestos is rarely used now, until the 1970s it was a common material in building products and insulation. Some places in your home that may contain asbestos include:
- Attic and wall insulation
- Textured paint
Asbestos may also be present in automobile brake pads and lining, gaskets, and clutch facings.
If you believe there is asbestos in your home, do not touch it and leave it alone. If the asbestos or asbestos product seems to be damaged in any way, limit exposure to the area, as damaged asbestos products may release asbestos fibers into the air or surrounding areas. Do not try to remove asbestos from your home. There are certified asbestos professionals who are specially trained to identify and remove asbestos products from homes, schools, and other buildings.
Asbestos in the home can be dealt with in three ways: removal, encapsulation, and covering. If the asbestos appears to be in good shape, it may be easiest to treat it with a sealant, encapsulating the dangerous fibers and preventing them from breaking away and entering the surrounding environment. In other cases, covering the asbestos is the best solution. For example, asbestos in pipes may be covered with a protective layer.
Asbestos removal, encapsulation, or covering is an effective way to limit asbestos exposure in the home and is often more affordable than asbestos removal. To learn more about asbestos in the home and asbestos removal or abatement, contact your local health or environmental officials.