Most people know the dangers of asbestos and how it can negatively impact your health. However when it comes to risks and other information, some might not take it as seriously as they should. This harmful mineral can pose detrimental effects on your health and safety and by educating yourself on the toxin, you’re doing a better job of keeping yourself healthy. We reviewed 4 different facts that are important for you to keep in mind:
1. It’s Still Found in Many Houses
You’ve probably heard the dangers of buying an older home due to the increased risk of asbestos that could potentially live within its walls (for more home buying tips and/or things to watch for, see my post about "Tips to Negotiating for Home Buyers". Older homes built before 1980 were often built using the mineral but even with the potential health risks, leaving the material in place unless it has been damaged is oftentimes considered safer.
When a material containing asbestos is broken, the microscopic fibers flow through the air which is then inhaled by humans leading to health risks such as cancer. If you have an older home, using qualified professionals to conduct your renovations instead of attempting a DIY re-model is a smarter option as there is less risk of damaging an affected material.
2. More Common than you Think
Did you know that Asbestos can also be found in other objects besides home interiors? Many products (usually in building and construction) may still legally contain the mineral. You may come across it in vinyl floor tiles, caulking, chalkboards, cement siding and ceiling tiles.
3. Can Lead to Disease
As mentioned above, when materials containing asbestos is friable, it becomes airborne to then be inhaled by humans. By breathing in the mineral, risk of disease like lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma increases. According to cancer.gov, most people will be exposed to the toxin at some point in their lives. While brief encounters with breathing it in could allow a person to increase their risk of related disease, those who are constantly inhaling it (example: people who work in trades) have a higher chance of developing health problems.
4. Removing or Controlling
Have you found asbestos in your home? Oftentimes, it’s best to just leave it alone. Unless the material is damaged, the toxin isn’t airborne and you aren’t inhaling it. Every now and then, it’s good practice to check up on the materials to see if they remain in good condition. If you still want to remove the mineral or if the material is broken and must be discarded, then the safest option is to use a licensed professional to safely remove it from the building.
There are many different rules and guidelines to safe handling and when it comes to this mineral, you can never be too safe. If you’ve discovered asbestos in your home or are worried about the potential risks associated with it, call Lloyd. There’s no obligation and he is more than happy to lend out his knowledge on asbestos, home safety and of course, inspection services!
Need the C4U Eyes? Lloyd doesn’t break the rules for anyone and as a leading chief home inspector in BC, that means he follows industry requirements, government regulations and licensing codes of conduct to the letter. He offers unbiased, ethical and professional home inspections and building consultation services. Contact Lloyd from C4U Inspections today and he’ll be happy to help you out.