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Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that’s composed of flexible and soft compounds. It’s resistant to corrosion, electricity, and heat.
It’s also an excellent insulator that can be used to strengthen other materials, including plastic, cement, paper, cloth, and other various materials.
The combination of these useful qualities makes this mineral very valuable material.
The use of asbestos as a building material was prevalent between 1930 and 1970, due to its durability and superb resistance against chemicals, heat, and electricity.
Because of this, it was a popular choice for building houses, especially in the areas that were susceptible to prolonged heat exposure. Due to its ability to soundproof, it was also used in making acoustic materials.
Moreover, asbestos was also utilized in making items used in homes like crock pots and dryers.
However, as asbestos is a highly toxic mineral, its prolonged exposure can have a detrimental impact on your overall wellbeing.
Therefore, it’s essential to locate any asbestos hiding in your walls, in order to safeguard yourself against its adverse side effects.
The long-term side effects of asbestos may include genetic damage, scarring, and inflammation.
Its exposure is also known to cause mesothelioma cancer, progressive lung cancer, and many other types of cancer.
- Asbestos Has Many Forms: Here’s What You Need to Know for Your Safety
- How to Detect Asbestos: 5 Signs Your House Has an Asbestos Problem
- Asbestos Exposure, Dangers to Avoid During Home Renovations
- What Is Asbestos & Why Should You Be Concerned?
- Check for Asbestos While Remodelling Your Home
- Health Matters – Why Was Asbestos Banned?
What Are the Signs of Asbestos You Should Look Out for?
So, how can you tell whether there are signs of asbestos in your walls? This is a question many people ask themselves to know how to safeguard themselves from this exposure.
Nevertheless, unless the building material in your house is labeled, it’s usually quite challenging to distinguish signs of asbestos.
If you aren’t sure, it’s best to avoid meddling with it yourself. Instead, you should call a certified and asbestos professional to inspect whether there’s any trace of asbestos. It’d be best if you always do this especially when;
- You see damaged building materials in your home, such as the falling apart of insulation or drywall panel in your home.
- You want to remodel your house, which usually disturbs the building material.
It’s vital to always hire a trained and certified asbestos professional, as they have an idea of what they’re searching for and why it needs to be analyzed.
They also know the preventative measures to help you, in case the dangerous asbestos fibers are released from your walls.
Therefore, thanks to their expertise and experience, they’re better placed to sample the building material.
In contrast, taking samples on your own is dangerous to your health and isn’t recommended.
You shouldn’t disturb your home’s building material to test for asbestos if it’s still in pristine condition.
Some of the places in your home that you should look out for asbestos include;
- Cement shingles
- Window caulk
- Textured popcorn ceilings
- Roofing felt
- Corrugated sheets and cement flat
- Sliding material
- Cement shingles
- Flat roofs and shingles
- Vinyl floors and backing
- Basement boilers
- Floor tile glue
- Patching compounds used in ceilings and walls
- Wall insulation and attic with vermiculite
- Some types of paint
Many countries across the globe have restricted the use of building materials containing asbestos, to curb its negative impact on the human body.
How Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma?
There’s a strong link between the use of asbestos and mesothelioma cancer. This usually happens since the disturbed asbestos releases small fiber materials into the air if disturbed.
It then finds their way into your body either through swallowing or inhaling. These materials then settle on the lining of your lungs, stomach, and heart.
The embedded fibers on your lungs, cause damage to the mesothelial tissues resulting in inflammation.
Over time, it begins scarring your lungs, thus tumors are formed on the scarred mesothelium. Finally, this results in the formation of specific cancer, mesothelioma.
The scarring of your lungs may lead to a health condition known as asbestosis, characterized by severe lung damage and breathing difficulties.
Furthermore, other types of cancer caused by asbestos exposure may include pharynx, stomach, ovarian, larynx, and colorectal cancer.
What Should You Do After Noticing Asbestos in Your Home?
After knowing the severe effects of asbestos on your health, the mere sight of asbestos in your home will, without a doubt, send chills down your spine.
Nonetheless, you need not be overly concerned because materials containing asbestos doesn’t pose any health risk if they aren’t disturbed or damaged.
The reason behind this is that asbestos fibers aren’t released if the asbestos material is in excellent condition.
However, if the asbestos-containing material is damaged, torn, cut, drilled, repaired, scarped, removed improperly, or disturbed, the tiny fibers get released.
Therefore, you should only visually inspect building materials containing asbestos for wear and tear instead of disturbing or touching it.
Otherwise, you risk releasing the asbestos fibers while doing this inspection for damage caused by water, abrasions, or tears.
This is especially the case if the material is exposed to airflow or extreme vibration or is constantly rubbing, and hitting it.
The presence of asbestos in your home might cause you to panic, especially when taking into account its adverse health risks.
Reading this article has offered you insights on the areas where asbestos might be hiding in your home, and what measures to take if you notice it.