Asbestos - General Information
“Asbestos was used in a wide variety of building materials and building components during the twentieth century. The widest use occurred from 1940 - 1975.”
What is Asbestos?
“Asbestos is a number of naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals. These minerals have many useful properties such as thermal insulation, chemical and thermal stability, and high tensile strength."
Dangers of Asbestos
“Asbestos is made up of microscopic bundles of fiber that may become airborne when distributed. When the fibers become airborne you run the risk of inhaling them. If you inhale the fibers they could cause major health problems. Researchers do not know what the safe amount of exposure to asbestos is. However, they know that the greater and the longer the exposure, the greater risk of contracting an asbestos related disease.”
More Excellent information Concerning Asbestos
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency
and the American Lung Association have collaborated to make the following useful information available at this excellent web site: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/453.html. The following information was found on that web site and portions have been reproduced here for your convenience:
“Where Can I Find Asbestos in the home- And When Can It Be A Problem?
Most products made today do not contain asbestos. Those few products made which still contain asbestos that could be inhaled are required to be labeled as such. However, until the 1970s, many types of building products and insulation materials used in homes contained asbestos. Common products that might have contained asbestos in the past, and conditions which may release fibers, include:
Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.
Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.
Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was banned in 1977. Sanding, scraping, or drilling these surfaces may release asbestos.
Soundproofing or decorative material sprayed on walls and ceilings. Loose, crumbly, or water-damaged material may release fibers. So will sanding, drilling, or scraping the material.
Asbestos Cement Roofing, Shingles, and Siding are not likely to release asbestos fibers unless sawed, drilled, or cut."
What Should Be Done About Asbestos In The Home?
If you think asbestos may be in your home, don't panic! Usually the best thing is to LEAVE asbestos material- that is in good condition- ALONE. Generally, material in good condition will not release asbestos fibers. THERE IS NO DANGER unless fibers are released and inhaled into the lungs. Don't dust, sweep, or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos. Have removal and major repair done by people trained and qualified in handling asbestos.
The above paraphrased (or quoted where indicated) information was taken from the U.S. Government EPA, CDC or other informed websites concerning asbestos. You will find a wealth of information there as well as web links to other informational resources. We are not “experts” on asbestos and are providing what we believe is accurate information from reliable resources. However, we cannot guarantee (nor be held liable) that this information is true or up to date, nor that the resources upon which we relied are knowledgeable or accurate.