Next Steps If You Have Asbestos
If you think you have asbestos, the health and safety of your home depend on KNOWING if you have asbestos. Then you need to contact an InspectorLab Testing Professional to have it tested
When asbestos is found in a building, there are usually three possible options – removal, encapsulation or leaving the asbestos untouched.
Removal or abatement is usually necessary if the asbestos materials are damaged. Removal is a great option if you want to completely remove the potentially hazardous materials once and for all. Removal is also often necessary during construction, demolition and refurbishment projects.
Encapsulation is usually less expensive than removal, and involves covering the material to isolate it rather than removing it. An example would be installing a wood subfloor over an asbestos tile floor or covering asbestos containing insulation such as vermiculite insulation with a safe insulation.
Leaving asbestos in place may not seem like the best option, but in some cases asbestos does not pose a threat to humans, and can be left in place. An example of this would be a chimney installed in a sealed chase. As long as asbestos fibers can’t reach the air we breathe, they are not a hazard
Asbestos Related Diseases
Asbestosis is scarring if the lungs. This damages tissues and hampers their ability to intake oxygen to the blood. This disease can take from 15 to 30 years to show itself.
Lung Cancer is a malignant tumor of the bronchi covering. The tumor grows through surrounding tissue and obstructs the air passages. This disease can surface 20 to 30 years after asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium which is the lining of the abdominal wall. Early stages of the disease have few symptoms. By the time it is found, it is almost always fatal. This disease can have a latency period of 30 to 40 years.
As a final word, let me take a shot at the question a lot of people ask: Can I remove asbestos myself? I vote “no” unless you are equipped and practiced at the process of containment, negative air and air scrubbing. Asbestos can take decades to kill you, but it will. Watching what my dad went through, I assure you that slowly suffocating to death over a stretch of about a year is not worth saving money on an asbestos removal project.