Asbestos exposure can happen in many places, even your own home. Since asbestos fibers have been worked into construction materials and consumer products of all kinds over the years, many US homeowners and renting families are experiencing exposure today as the materials break down over time.
But how do you know if your home contains asbestos?
Many homes built before 1980 contain asbestos in flooring, ceiling tiles, roof shingles, insulation, and more. Attics, garages, even your bathroom can possibly contain asbestos materials.
Upon hearing this news, homeowners and families might begin to worry. But you should only be really concerned if you are remodeling or notice damaged walls or ceilings, or other materials breaking down in your home. Asbestos is most dangerous when it is friable, meaning easily crumbled or reduced to a powder. When broken down, asbestos fibers can become airborne and breathed in by different individuals.
Visually inspecting your home will be the first step in determining if asbestos is a problem for you and your family in your home. If you suspect you have found asbestos fibers in your home, it is important that you send samples to a certified laboratory for testing. If the analysis comes back positive, it is time to hire a certified asbestos abatement company who will legally, ethically, and responsibly clean the asbestos from your home.
Some asbestos abatement companies have gotten into trouble with the EPA and OSHA for violating serious environmental and labor laws during asbestos removal. Be sure to put your home in the hands of someone you trust; asbestos is nothing to be messed with!
If you worry about finding asbestos in your home, see Asbestos Network for more information.