Asbestos Testing And Abatement

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used in a variety of household and building materials since the 1850’s. It has been shown to cause lung and stomach cancer in people exposed to its microscopic fibers. Asbestos, when disturbed, is easily inhaled and ingested. Once inhaled, the tiny fibers stay lodged inside your body tissue, increasing your chance of developing serious illnesses.

Asbestos has been used in products for fire protection, insulation, and increased strength. It can also be found in various types of:

  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • “Octopus” gravity furnace and ductwork
  • Wall and ceiling insulations
  • Roofing
  • Shingles
  • Bricks
  • Furnace insulations
  • Pipe insulation
  • Sheet flooring
  • Vermiculite attic insulation
  • Door gaskets
  • Patching compounds
  • Textured paints
  • Ceiling acoustical material
  • Stove insulation
  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and “slip and fall” hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Use of asbestos in building materials was common between the 1920′s and 1980′s. It’s use has declined since the 1970′s. However, a phased-in ban by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of most asbestos products did not culminate until 1996. A total ban of asbestos-containing  materials is still not in effect! Below is a gallery of images of common asbestos materials in homes and buildings.

  • Asbestos covered ductwork on forced air furnace
  • A: Asbestos covered pipe insulation. B: Asbestos covered boiler
  • “Friable” asbestos pipe insulation

NEVER remove or repair asbestos-containing materials yourself! Dangerous asbestos fibers are released into the air when the material is banged, rubbed, handled or taken apart. It is especially important that you do not dust, sweep or vacuum particles suspected of containing asbestos. The EPA insists that, for your safety, this should only be done by trained contractors. If you think your home may contain asbestos-based products, contact Healthy Homes for an evaluation. Please review the standards and warnings for removing Asbestos yourself or hiring a Contractor that doesn’t follow EPA guidelines. Click here to read more about hiring an asbestos abatement company.

The EPA provides the following list of questions for selecting a safe asbestos removal contractor. We will always answer YES to each of these questions!

  • Are you certified? (ask to see the certificate)
  • Have you and your workers been trained?
  • Do you have experience removing asbestos from homes?
  • Will you provide a list of references of people for whom you have worked with asbestos?
  • Will you provide a list of places where you have worked with asbestos?
  • Will you use a HEPA negative pressurized containment during the abatement process?
  • Will you use the “wet method” (water and detergent)?
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