What Should I Do If I Find Asbestos in My Home?
Finding asbestos in your home, apartment, condo, or workplace is never something you should take lightly. Asbestos fibers can be extremely intrusive, and even the smallest amount of asbestos material could make you sick and cause the development of mesothelioma, a deadly cancer.
In order to preserve your safety and protect your family’s health, it’s important to be on the lookout for dangerous asbestos. If you do find asbestos in your home, take immediate action to have the contaminant removed.
When you find asbestos in your home, make sure you take the following steps:
1. Identify the Asbestos: If you suspect there is asbestos in your home, do a little bit of homework on your own to determine whether or not it really is asbestos you’re dealing with. Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber often used in construction materials, like insulation, adhesives, vinyl materials, and more.
Some of the common housing materials made from asbestos are:
- HVAC ducts and duct insulation
- Ceiling tiles
- Roof shingles
- Attic insulation
While these are some of the most common forms of asbestos materials, they certainly aren’t the only things in your home that could contain asbestos. Any home built in the 1970s or earlier could be constructed with any number of asbestos-derived materials. In order to be safe, always call a professional for their opinion.
2. Stop Construction and Vacate: When you suspect anything in your house contains asbestos, you need to remove yourself from the contaminated area immediately. Most homeowners find asbestos when construction begins because the fibers get stirred up in all of the commotion. If this is the case, stop construction immediately and move away from the premises until the asbestos can be contained and removed. Even if the asbestos fibers aren’t noticeable, it is always better to be safe than sorry, so stay with a friend or family member until you can safely return home.
3. Call a Professional: Identifying asbestos materials can be challenging if you aren’t a trained professional. If you have any reason to believe the products in your home contain asbestos, take immediate action to call in a professional who can identify the asbestos and safely remove it from your property. This is never a process that should be attempted by anyone without proper training and equipment. Remember, stirring up these fibers without protection is extraordinarily dangerous.
4. Contact an Attorney: Asbestos is a carcinogen, and as such, it is extraordinarily damaging. These little fibers may go unnoticed for years, but they can cause major, deadly damage all the same. Once asbestos is found, every inhabitant of the home should see a doctor and check for any signs of mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. This cancer can lead to costly medical bills, expensive medications, ongoing medical treatment, severe physical and emotional pain, and even death.
In order to protect your family from further injury, you need to contact a legal advocate as soon as you identify an asbestos problem in your home. An experienced lawyer can explain your rights, help investigate the extent of the issue, and help identify the liable party.
Contact Shrader & Associates L.L.P. to discuss your asbestos case with our dedicated mesothelioma attorneys.