Asbestos Removal FAQ’s

What is asbestos?

Asbestos, a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil, is a heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral that can be woven into fabrics, and is used in fire-resistant and insulating materials. It is these properties that once made asbestos used in a slew of everyday products, from building materials to fireproof protective gear.

Where can I find asbestos?

Because of its fiber strength and heat resistance asbestos has been used in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire retardant. Asbestos has also 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 (automobile clutch, brake, and transmission parts), heat-resistant fabrics, packaging, gaskets, and coatings.

What is the difference between friable and non-friable asbestos?

‘Friable’ is used to refer to asbestos-containing materials that can be easily reduced to powder by hand, when dry. These materials are more likely to release measurable levels of asbestos into the airborne environment when disturbed, and generally pose a greater risk to health.

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.

What are health effects from exposure to asbestos?

Exposure to asbestos increases your risk of developing lung disease. That risk is made worse by smoking. In general, the greater the exposure of asbestos, the greater the chance of developing harmful health effects.

Three of the major health effects associated with asbestos exposure are:

  • lung cancer
  • mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining of the lung, chest and the abdomen and heart.
  • asbestosis, a serious progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs

How can I tell if I have asbestos in my home?

The most efficient way of determining whether asbestos is present is to have a survey conducted and have samples taken and analyzed by a laboratory.

If I find asbestos in my home, what should I do?

If the asbestos containing material is friable or damaged, the best thing to do is to get it escalated to an accredited licensed asbestos abatement contractor. Asbestos-containing materials that are not damaged or disturbed are not likely to pose a health risk. Usually it is best to leave asbestos-containing material alone if it is in good condition. If renovation or demolition work will take place, asbestos abatement must be employed to reduce the risk of exposure.

Who is qualified to work with asbestos?

An experienced and licensed asbestos abatement contractor is most qualified to repair, encapsulate or remove asbestos-containing materials.

Please keep in mind these tips are only general guidelines. Since each situation will vary, contact United Safety LLC if you have a question about a specific issue.