Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance made from silica which is now banned due to its link with myriad health complications. While its use can be traced back centuries, it was primarily used between the turn of the 20th century through the late 1970s in industrial capacities.
Asbestos is a fibrous material which lent itself well to construction compounds. It was used in most capacities as an insulation and fireproofing compound, which could be added to a number of different materials. Many of these materials still exist today. In fact, asbestos-containing materials can be found in nearly 80 percent of structures built before 1978.
What to Do About Asbestos
It is important to remember that not all these materials pose an immediate threat. Asbestos must be rendered “friable” to be considered hazardous. Friable asbestos fibers are those which are within a damaged or aged compound and can potentially be released into the air. When materials contain friable asbestos, they must be disposed of. However, there are a great deal of governmental regulations in place to ensure that these materials are disposed of properly and safely.
- Firstly, a concerned home or building owner should begin a dialogue with an asbestos consulting service to ensure the material is indeed hazardous and friable.
- Next it is important to choose a properly licensed asbestos abatement company to remove the material. These companies are specially licensed to remove and dispose of asbestos in safe and appropriate manners.
Those who find that they have asbestos within their home that is not yet hazardous should monitor the material regularly and be careful not to disturb the compound. If these materials are intact and undisturbed, they will not pose an immediate hazard.
Asbestos was banned in the late ’70s because of the clear connection between those exposed to it and the development of the asbestos cancer, mesothelioma. No level of exposure is safe and even tests which indicate the presence of small asbestos samples should be taken seriously. By taking proper precautions you can ensure your home or office’s safety.