When people think of the word “asbestos”, their memory may stir up television ads that talk about the harmful effects of asbestos and the illnesses that can develop due to exposure. While commercials aren’t always very intriguing per say, it is important for homeowners to be aware of what asbestos is and what they can do to identify it in their own home. Read on more about how to keep yourself and your family members safe.
The History of Asbestos
There are both good and bad minerals, and asbestos is definitely categorized under the former. Asbestos is defined as the set of minerals that are known for being resistant to electricity, heat, and fire. These minerals are more controlled now, but they formerly were widely used in products related to building insulation and around-the-house appliances.
Ever since the 1970’s, when people began realizing how harmful asbestos was, it has since been utilized much less. Governments have established bans or use limitations around the globe, in both consumer and industrial products.
It is important to note that despite these new regulations, asbestos is still something that should concern homeowners. There are products that can still be made with up to 1% asbestos minerals. And, new regulations have failed to address what homeowners should do about homes they purchase that were built before the 1970’s, and the risk this could pose to the well being of their family.
How Asbestos Enters the Body
Asbestos becomes a health risk when it turns into a dust-like, microscopic form and is released into the air. When people are exposed to asbestos, it’s usually due to inhaling these tiny specks. If asbestos is found in your home and won’t be disturbed unless you do a home renovation project, then it may be best to just leave it alone or have a professional remove it properly.
If you aren’t doing a home project anytime soon but want to know whether asbestos is in your home, keep an eye out for:
- Cracked siding
- Broken shingles
- Old cement roofing
- Cracked or discolored tiles
- Fraying piping insulation
- Crumbling Drywall
What to Do Next
Let’s say that you believe you’ve identified asbestos somewhere in your home. Refrain from touching or messing with the material, then contact a licensed and reputable asbestos abatement contractor in Los Angeles, CA to visit your home and sample the area. As stated above, asbestos is only dangerous after it’s been damaged or disturbed, so it’s best to hire someone to do a home inspection for you. Even though you cannot see asbestos in the air because of how tiny the material, never underestimate the long-term effects it could have on health.
Asbestos exposure is serious and prompt action should be taken if there are any symptoms of illness. If you or any family members are experiencing these symptoms of asbestos exposure, go the the doctor right away:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Unrelenting dry cough
- Chest tightness
- Nail deformities
- Finger clubbing
- Appetite loss
Thanks to Nielsen Environmental for their insight into asbestos and how to identify it in your home.