You’re likely familiar with asbestos, but have you ever wondered if you have this carcinogenic substance in your home or workplace?
Asbestos was commonly used in the United States in building materials during the 1940’s through the 1970’s due to it’s fire and chemical-resistant properties. However, in the 1950’s, researchers discovered links between asbestos exposure and serious health issues like lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. Most manufacturers discontinued the use of asbestos in the 1980’s, but the US has yet to ban asbestos.
How is Asbestos Harmful to Health?
Asbestos becomes a health risk when its fibers become airborne after it’s been disturbed in some way. When inhaled, these fibers can lodge themselves into the lungs, causing scarring and abnormal cell growth, leading to a number of cancers including mesothelioma.
Additionally, asbestos can cause asbestosis, a serious lung condition, as well as lung cancer and a number of other types of cancer.
Where is Asbestos Found in Homes?
Asbestos can be found in a variety of products, buildings, and naturally in the environment. Common asbestos-containing products that can be found in the home include:
- Insulation materials for pipes and furnaces, and attic insulation
- Asbestos and cement shingles
- Siding and roofing tiles
- Soundproofing applications
- Plaster and joint compounds
- Some plastics, including paints and adhesives
- Casings for electrical wires
- Some floor tiles and flooring adhesives
What If I Find or Suspect Asbestos?
While asbestos is regarded as safe if left undisturbed, asbestos-related disease in patients typically do not show symptoms until 10-40 years after they have been exposed. If you’re planning a remodel or if you discover fire damaged building materials in your home, you should hire a licensed professional and asbestos management procedures should be detailed and undertaken with the utmost care. Get your FREE mesothelioma guide HERE.