Asbestos is a hazardous material as many of us are well aware, however, how much do you really know about asbestos and why is this important?  If any of you are thinking about renovating an old home yourself, it’s possible you could encounter asbestos so having a decent knowledge of it will be important.  Here is a brief look at asbestos and the dangers that are associated with it:

 

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was used to give strength to different materials, it also provided heat insulation and fire resistance.  It was used in construction up until the 1970s.  This means that if you buy a home older than this, that has not been previously renovated, it’s probable you will encounter asbestos.

 

Health problems associated with prolonged exposure to asbestos are very serious.  Asbestos fibers are small and can be easily inhaled.  These fibers then stick to the lungs for a long time, increasing the risk of asbestos-related diseases.  Among these diseases are Asbestosis which is caused by fibrous tissue scarring the lungs and Mesothelioma, cancer that affects the abdominal cavity and chest lining.

 

If you are fixing up your old home, what are some ways you might be exposed to asbestos fibers?  This can happen from sanding, scraping or handling materials that contain asbestos.  The small fibers release into the air putting you at risk of inhaling them.

 

What can you do if you are concerned about asbestos in your home? Never try to take care of the problem yourself, instead, have the home inspected and, if asbestos is found in the home, employ a company specially trained to safely handle and dispose of it for you.