About Asbestos and Health
Asbestos is a tiny fiber that was used in the past primarily as insulation. It was also added to some building materials to provide added strength and flame resistance. The problem with asbestos is that it has been shown to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma in individuals that were exposed to large amounts of free-floating asbestos fibers in the air. These conditions typically did not become apparent until around 30 years after the exposure. Because of the health hazards of asbestos fibers, its use in insulation and paint was banned in the 1970's. Read the EPA document on home asbestos.
Homes built prior to the 1970's could contain asbestos on pipes, insulation, paint, wall joint compound, and other materials. Asbestos fiber is only a threat if released into the air where it can be inhaled; as long as the materials are in good condition, they pose no danger.
About Asbestos Inspection Service
Renovations or demolitions of materials containing asbestos can release the fibers into the air. Therefore, the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) requires the owner of any property containing asbestos building materials to seek inspection service prior to any demolitions or renovations of that property.
If your home contains asbestos, you have two options:
- Remove the material
- Seal the material to control asbestos fibers
Either option requires the help of a trained and certified asbestos professional. We can identify asbestos visually in the boiler, pipe wrap, and tiles. We can provide testing of samples by Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM), identifying asbestos fibers to as little as 1% content by weight; that is more sensitive than EPA guidelines. Lab results take up to ten days and the cost per sample is $150. As a general home inspection service provider we do not offer removal or remediation services for asbestos. If test results are positive we can recommend a few professional testing and remediation firms that other clients have had good results with.
If you already suspect asbestos in your home, here is how to manage asbestos-containing materials (ACM). Always consult with a professional.