Preventing Asbestos Exposure

Receive a Home Inspection


Heavily used for the majority of the 20th century in construction and building applications, asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was once the go to method for insulation in homes. Its flame resistant, inexpensive and highly durable qualities made it an ideal choice for manufacturers. Asbestos normally appeared as insulation for piping, roofing, siding and flooring in homes.


Many homes or buildings built prior to 1980 or even after may still contain asbestos materials. In fact, even homes built after 1990 have a small chance of containing asbestos due to the vermiculite asbestos that came from a mine that once heavily produced the mineral.


This fact should not make you overly worried because exposure to asbestos can be easily avoidable by taking easy precautions. If any asbestos is suspected in your home or property, having the assistance of a professional home inspection can make all of the difference in achieving a healthy home. Ultimately, this process may be the only way to certainly protect your home and family from later or accidental release of asbestos.


Home inspections and asbestos


Receiving a professional home inspection is something that cannot be understated. Many building substances can become a problem for homeowners due to the negative health effects that can occur if not identified. Advances in technology have made inspections into a valuable process that quickly studies areas of concern in your property.


A professional home inspection is extremely important to protect your investment.  Professional consultants can provide an evaluation of the home and will identify material defects in structures and components of the home, in adherence to or exceeding national, state, and industry regulations and standards.


It should be noted that not all asbestos poses health risks. Known as friable asbestos, this means that it has been disturbed or damaged. This is when it becomes a major concern because its fibers can now circulate into the air and become inhaled. If this has occurred anywhere in your property, a good course of action would be to isolate the room and not allow anyone in without protective gear. Sealing vents and doors is also a good option. The best advice is to leave asbestos alone until a professional can observe it and provide the safest scenario.


Asbestos fibers are thin and strong, and when inhaled frequently, it can cause a rare but serious form of asbestos lung cancer called mesothelioma. An individual who suffers from this disease has limited treatment options and one’s mesothelioma survival rate can be impacted by a number of factors, such as: age of diagnosis, latency period lasting 20 to 50 years and past record of cigarette smoking. Again, this scenario is very preventable by taking the right precautions!


Removing asbestos and safe alternatives


If asbestos needs to be removed, it should be performed by licensed abatement contractor who are trained in the handling and disposal of asbestos and other harmful substances in public facilities and homes.They all have to meet the same legal standards for protecting workers, the environment, and the family that will use the home after removal. These are mostly set out as the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulations. These licensed contractors who remove asbestos, will be familiar with the regulations in protecting you and themselves from exposure to asbestos.


There are many green, eco-friendly materials that replace the need for asbestos and can reduce energy costs annually. The implementation of eco-construction, green energy solutions will play an important role in the transformation to a healthier and sustainable world.


Eco-friendly alternatives to asbestos include the use of cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose. Cotton fiber is made from recycled batted material and treated to be fireproof. A water based spray polyurethane foam, lcynene features no toxic components. These healthy options have the same beneficial qualities as asbestos, minus the health deteriorating and toxic components.