Asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma, a type of cancer that charges about 100,000 lives each year, among other ills. What does asbestos look like? This is the question we will solve in this article for you, for your health.
Many people are exposed to this dangerous material without even knowing it, since many products based on asbestos were used extensively in different industries. What does asbestos look like? is the question everyone will know the answer for the health.
Even worse, many people are exposed to the dangers of asbestos inside their home, exposing their people to serious health problems without being aware of the situation. Therefore, in this article, we will give you some information to identify asbestos in products that could be present in your home, so you can take the necessary precautions in order to make your family safe.
A threat at home
Asbestos was widely used in building materials from the early 1940s until 1975, as it is a low-cost, resistant material, fire retardant and thermal and acoustic insulation.
The mere presence of asbestos at home is not necessarily dangerous. Usually, if the materials are in good condition and we leave them still, they will not release the frightful asbestos fibers. Rather, if we begin to manipulate them, we will be creating a situation of danger.
Today we know that prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers produces lung cancer. When exposed, small, abrasive asbestos fibers are easily breathed, resulting in lung tissue damage and possibly cancer.
What does asbestos look like? If the house you inhabit was built before 1975, it is likely that asbestos was used in its construction, possibly as thermal insulation for pipes and boilers. But also in:
- Roofing materials, especially in the case of flat roofs, but also some roofs
- Synthetic floor tiles
- Coating materials, such as cement fibers
- Heavy Duty Corrugated Panels
- The glue that adheres the tiles to concrete or wood
- Some types of paint
- Some types of linoleum
- The putty of the windows
- Interior insulation of the attic
- HVAC insulation in general in the form of corrugated or flat board
What to do about suspected asbestos?
As mentioned above, the mere presence of asbestos is not a problem in itself, as long as the microfibers do not “wake up” from their rest. However, precautions must be taken. If you believe that your home has asbestos-containing building materials, check periodically to make sure there are no breaks, abrasions, or water damage.
If you find that a material suspected of carrying asbestos has been damaged, it is better to restrict access to the area and to avoid touching or handling the material. If the damage is greater or you plan to renovate your home, it is best to hire a professional to dispose of the hazardous material.
Before you remove asbestos, either yourself or by requesting the service of a contractor, it is important to contact an industrial hygiene firm for an inspection. A professional evaluation will include a thorough visual examination as well as sampling for analysis.
The inspector will provide you with a report with the results of your assessment, specifying the points at which asbestos was detected as well as the severity of the problem, including recommendations to correct the problem and prevent it in the future. It is also advisable to call the inspector once the hazardous materials have been removed, to ensure that no traces of asbestos fibers remain in your home.
The contractor responsible for removing the hazardous materials must follow the recommendations of the inspector, in addition to informing the plan of work and the federal, state and local rules that will follow when handling asbestos fibers, call permissions, notifications, and procedures Allowed to get rid of asbestos fibers.
In the United States, the use of asbestos has not yet been banned. We recommend contacting state and local representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA for its acronym in English: Environmental Protection Agency ) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA for its acronym in English: Occupational Safety and Health Administration ). They will help you on what does asbestos look like.
What does asbestos look like and How to identify asbestos
1.Determine when the building was built.
Asbestos was widely used between 1920 and 1989, after which the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began regulating the amount of building materials containing asbestos. Although this material is mostly found in the foundations of buildings, it is also possible to find it in gas heaters, hair dryers, certain clothing and in the brakes of cars.
2. Look for signs of deteriorated or degraded materials containing asbestos.
It is almost impossible to realize if an object contains asbestos simply by looking at it. Instead of doing this, check to see if foundation materials are deteriorating. Asbestos is not dangerous when in good condition. However, if the material is deteriorated, then the asbestos fibers are released and contaminate the air, in addition to being toxic. Pay close attention to whether there are materials in your home that are worn or damaged.
3. Decide if you are going to have a professional look at the building.
If the foundations or materials you checked are not damaged, then you do not need to have the building checked by a professional. However, if you prefer to prevent mourning or the foundation of the building are not in good condition, you better have the building checked with a professional who has been certified to analyze and handle hazardous materials, such as asbestos. Another situation where you have to check the land or the building is if you plan to build something new or renovate the old foundations. Even if the old materials appear to be in good condition, they will surely release asbestos particles when the renovation or construction of the new project begins.