Owning a home means doing all you can to keep that home safe for those who live in it. For some older homes, that can mean having the home tested for asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), and then having those materials removed. We’re going to take a look at what asbestos is, why it’s dangerous, and what the risks are of being exposed. In the end, we’ll show you a trusted local resource that you can use to have your home tested.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a term that refers to any one of several fibrous minerals that occur naturally. These minerals have been used extensively in construction and manufacturing for many years, because of their natural resistance to heat and fire, and their substantial insulative properties. They have incredible versatility and usefulness, but they also have an inherently dangerous nature and pose an ongoing risk to the general health of the public.
The Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos fibers are tiny and can become airborne quite easily, which results in a much higher chance of inhalation exposure for those nearby. Asbestos inhalation causes severe health problems, which aren’t generally visible or able to be diagnosed for many years after exposure. Some of the most serious conditions caused by exposure include the following:
Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers. The fibers break off and become airborne, are inhaled, and then lodge in the tissues of the lung, leading to inflammation and scarring. Over longer periods, this leads to diminished lung function and challenges breathing.
Asbestos exposure dramatically increases the risk of developing lung cancer. People who have a history of asbestos exposure and smoke as well find themselves at a much higher risk of developing various lung cancers, compared to those who only smoke or who are only exposed to asbestos.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, the abdomen, or even the heart. It’s directly linked with asbestos exposure and has a very long latency period, often taking multiple decades to develop. Mesothelioma is highly aggressive and often fatal, with comparatively limited treatment options available.
Why is Asbestos Dangerous in Homes?
The biggest risk for homes that have asbestos-containing materials, is that the materials can pose a health risk if they are disturbed or become damaged. The ACMs are damaged, and the fibers they contain can be released into the air, where they can remain suspended for some time, drastically increasing the risk of exposure for those in the home. The biggest sources of asbestos exposure in homes include:
- Insulation materials
- Roofing materials
- Siding materials
- Textured paint and patching compounds, such as older formulations of popcorn ceiling
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Heating and cooling systems
Why Professional Asbestos Removal Is Essential
With the seriousness of the health risks at stake, it only makes sense to use professional help to assess, manage, and remove any ACMs from your home. Using professional asbestos management means you get:
- Expert asbestos identification
- Safe and effective removal of ACMs
- Proper, legal disposal and regulatory compliance
Let Home Biotesting Keep You And Your Family Safe
Understanding what asbestos is, helps answer the question of “Why is asbestos dangerous”. The first step to protecting yourself and others in your home is to partner with a professional asbestos surveying company like Home Biotesting and have them make a full assessment of your home. If there are ACMs, they can help arrange for the safe removal and disposal of those materials, with minimal disruption to your daily life. Reach out today for more information.