Essential details in handling asbestos at home

Definition of asbestos

Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally, which is highly resistant to chemicals, fire, water, and sound. It has a composition of fibers binding it together to form a light, durable material.  Its uses are in products such as building materials, floor tiles, vehicle clutches and brakes, and insulation pipes. Asbestos occurs in groups of mineral fibers like actinolite, amosite, crocidolite, chrysotile etc. Also, it is present in any of these materials when altered or treated with chemicals. Asbestos is a health risk hazard that causes diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis, and lung cancer. People at risk are those in exposure to asbestos for a long time, and those working in manufacturing industries use asbestos as raw-material for their products.

Where can you find asbestos?

It is vital to identify where asbestos might be located or some of the products containing these minerals. You should also be aware that these minerals are not visible; therefore, you can`t trace them with your naked eyes. Therefore, a dire need to carry out an analytical laboratory test is essential because most products containing asbestos are not labeled. The following products used in building homes may contain asbestos:

Floor tiles – Asbestos might be present in rubber, asphalt, and asbestos vinyl used for installing floor tiles. Through scraping and sanding tiles can result in a release of asbestos fibers in the air.

House appliances like boilers, furnace ducts and steam pipes insulated with asbestos paper tape or blankets. Repairing, damaging, or improperly removing these appliances can result in to release of asbestos fibers.

Door gaskets in wood, coal stoves, wood stoves, and furnaces; if the seals used in them wear out, they can release asbestos fibers.

Decorative materials sprayed on ceilings and walls – If water damaged, crumbly or loose, they can release asbestos fibers. Other activities that can lead to this are sanding, scraping, or drilling them.

Automobile clutch facings, gaskets, brake pads, and linings, once worn out, can release these fibers in the air.

Cutting, sawing or drilling asbestos shingles, cement roofing, and sidings can release asbestos fiber.

What to do before carrying out an asbestos testing in your home

If you suspect that your home might be having products or households containing asbestos, it is good to call for help. It will ensure you and any person living within the family is safe from the risks caused by exposure to asbestos. In most cases, those living in houses built before 1999 may be at risk of these minerals. To be sure, you can search for records of work involving asbestos in the household, consult previous tenants or owners, contact the architect or designer if available and check with the suppliers of household products. Be sure before getting any asbestos testing licensed contractor. If unsure, you can carry out an asbestos management survey to ensure that nobody is at risk of harm in the process. By doing this, you will know the condition, type, location, extent and treatment of the asbestos if found within your premises. After that, you can proceed with the asbestos testing activity.