We have covered some places that asbestos might be found within the home on our blog, but carpet underlay has not been one of them. Recently, concerns have been raised in Australia about carpet underlay being contaminated with asbestos. The contamination stems from the recycling of hessian bags used to transport asbestos up until the early 1970s.
It is important to note that asbestos fibers are considered most dangerous when disturbed and they become airborne. Simply walking on a carpet with asbestos-contaminated underlay is relatively safe. But ripping up carpet during remodels or renovations might be a cause for concern.
The only way to keep you and your family one hundred percent safe from the possibility of asbestos exposure is by having a professional test for the presence of asbestos fibers within your carpet underlay. If asbestos is present, a licensed professional should remove and dispose of your carpet underlay for you. Exposure to any level of asbestos fibers can lead to dangerous respiratory diseases, including mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma develops after asbestos fibers have become trapped within different areas of the body. Over time, tumors can form that slowly restrict a person's ability to breath. Eventually, the condition can become fatal.
If you are planning on remodeling or renovating a home built before 1990, use caution. It is likely that asbestos is present in some of the original materials used to build the house.