Asbestos is that invisible particle that you hear mentioned during daytime television class action lawsuit commercials, but what exactly is it?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been mined and used in industrial applications for over 200 years. Asbestos siding was most commonly used on homes because of its durability and fire proofing qualities, and it remained a popular home building material from the 1920’s to the 1980’s before there was any evidence of the harm it causes humans. It was officially banned by the EPA in 1989 after a handful of lawsuits and other reports of health issues.
Many people have fallen ill with lung cancer and other respiratory diseases due to exposure of this invisible airborne particle, but why?
With all of the modern information we now have, it should not dissuade you from purchasing a home that has asbestos coating materials. Just the sheer presence of asbestos isn’t cause for alarm, but the age of the asbestos and how it is dealt with will end up being the crucial factor. If the material containing asbestos has been damaged and broken into small pieces the asbestos is what is referred to as friable, which mean that the the invisible particles have become airborne. Most severe cases of cancer has been linked to workers who were immersed in an environment manufacturing asbestos containing material, so a homeowner should be aware but not alarmed for there are ways to deal with asbestos.
How to get rid of asbestos:
DO NOT TRY AND REMOVE ASBESTOS ON YOUR OWN. It is a very volatile substance that requires a trained and licensed professional to Abate (remove) or often times encapsulate (cover with a barrier in order to reduce exposure) the existing asbestos containing material. Call your local licensed asbestos specialist and get a quote for abatement or encapsulation of existing asbestos on your home or a home you are looking to buy.