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Is There Asbestos In Your Home? Here’s What You Need To Know

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By Author: Bryson Kaleb
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Although asbestos is a deadly yet naturally occurring mineral that was banned in more than 60 countries, the U.S. isn’t on that list and continues to use asbestos in construction. Asbestos cannot be identified just by looking at it, but if a property was built before 1980, there is a good chance asbestos was used in the cement, roof shingles, textured paint, steam pipes, tiles, and spray-on insulation. Although some believe asbestos is not harmful when undisturbed, there is safe exposure, even if it is undisturbed. Asbestos exposure is the No. 1 cause of work-related deaths in the world, with an estimated 125 million people worldwide at risk; 90,000 people worldwide, and 40,000 in the U.S. alone, die from asbestos-related diseases every year; and according to the American Cancer Society, most asbestos-related diseases are diagnosed at least 15 years after exposure!

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral composed of soft, thin fibers which are resistant to heat, electricity, and corrosion. It is an effective insulator that can make different materials stronger, like cloth, paper, cement, ...
... and plastic. Between 1930 and 1980, it was used in the manufacturing of thousands of products. There are two main categories of asbestos, which can be broken down even further:

1. Serpentine: these fibers are long, flexible, and curved, which makes them easy to weave together.

2. Amphibole: these fibers are straight and rigid, and therefore, generally brittle and needle shaped. Because of this, amphibole asbestos’s commercial uses are quite limited.

In the 90s, researchers discovered that, when inhaled or ingested, asbestos dust, consisting of fine mineral fibers that can be easily crumbled, pulverized, or powdered, can become permanently trapped in the body, causing inflammation, scarring, genetic damage, a rare and aggressive cancer called mesothelioma, and other cancers like lung disease.

How to Remove Asbestos

If asbestos is suspected, usually because of a home renovation or update, the first thing that should be done is finding a reputable certified lab and asbestos removal team for an inspection. Even if the contractor has yet to smash tiles or drill through drywall, there is still a chance that asbestos has been released into the air. As stated above, even undisturbed asbestos can cause severe health issues. The best thing to do is reach out to professionals and track the asbestos location and condition. Do not attempt to collect samples.

The 3 advantages of hiring a professional company:

1. Safety: a professional asbestos removal team will have the proper safety equipment and procedures needed to safely do the job.

2. Experience: professional companies ensure each member of their team goes through the required training, so they are knowledgeable and skilled in handling asbestos with extreme care and caution.

3. Time and Cost: a professional asbestos removal team will be able to remove all toxic materials swiftly and without the added cost of having to buy equipment and possibly redo removal. Not only will doing the job properly save cost, but it will also ensure the health and safety of all involved.

Alliance-Enviro is an environmental company that specializes in services such as mold remediation, asbestos abatement, demolition services, dryer duct cleaning, HVAC duct cleaning, lead paint removal, trauma clean up, etc. in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Sacramento, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, and Santa Barbara. For more information, visit https://info.alliance-enviro.com/blog.

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