Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil. Because of its fiber strength and heat resistance it has been used in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. Asbestos has been used in a wide range of manufactured goods, mostly in building materials (roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper products, and asbestos cement products), friction products, heat-resistant fabrics, packaging, gaskets, and coatings.
How can people be exposed to Asbestos?
Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material during product use, demolition work, building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling. In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air.
If you think that there may be asbestos in your home, don't panic!
Asbestos-containing materials that aren’t damaged or disturbed are not likely to pose a health risk. Usually the best thing is to leave asbestos-containing material alone if it is in good condition. Generally, asbestos-containing material that is in good condition and will not be disturbed (by remodeling, for example) will not release asbestos fibers.
When should I test for Asbestos?
You may want to have your home inspected for asbestos-containing materials by a trained and accredited asbestos professional if:
- You are planning to remodel your home (remodeling can disturb building materials)
- Your home has damaged building materials (like crumbling drywall and insulation that is falling apart)