Is There Asbestos in My House - How and Where to Check?

Asbestos is a hazardous substance that causes lung cancer, asbestosis, irritation in lungs, coughing and even leads to death. After it was categorized as a hazardous waste it's advisable to avoid asbestos at all costs.

After the asbestos was discovered and mined, its strong resistance to heat and fire made it useful for a variety of purposes. Until then people were not aware of its harmful effects. It was thought to be a safe substance and was even used in toothpaste.

Asbestos was widely used for insulating homes before 1990. It’s an extremely light and brittle substance and even the slightest disturbance in the walls insulated by asbestos will cause them to spread and fill the air with tiny asbestos particles. Safe removal of this hazardous substance is necessary.

In Canada, the use of asbestos was widespread until 1990. The concerns related to health risks were raised but at the same time were ignored. It was widely used in various building materials like – tiles, paint, insulation, etc.

Risks of Asbestos

Living in the asbestos-laden environment is dangerous and will lead to serious health problems and even death. Asbestos fibres easily break into invisible tiny particles that enter the airways with your breath and cause inflammation in your lungs.

The airborne asbestos particles enter the human body and get trapped in the lungs. The human body can’t get rid of this material and it gets accumulated in the lungs causing irritation which can further lead to serious inflammation. Prolonged exposure to such an environment can lead to death.

The threat depends on how long you are exposed to this substance, its concentration in the air, frequency of exposure, size of particles, etc. Most of the asbestos exposure occurs in the home environment. The air is mostly stagnant in the insulated homes as they are made energy efficient. So, it’s easier to develop an asbestos-related illness if it’s used in your home.

Is there asbestos in my house?

It was important to find out and remove asbestos from the construction. The presence of asbestos in the construction imposes a danger to the health of the residents whenever there’s a simple repair in their homes.

This makes it extremely important and difficult to remove asbestos from the constructions were it already exists. It's difficult to remove because during the process of asbestos removal the workers will have to face the hazards.

The only possible way for workers to stay safe in such an environment is by using adequate PPE (personal protective equipment) like asbestos mask along with other PPE are meant for safe asbestos removal without damaging the health of the individuals.

After the asbestos is safely removed from the construction care should be taken to properly dispose of asbestos. Asbestos waste bags are used for the safe disposal of asbestos so that it doesn't harm the environment further.

How and where to check?

Home builds before 1990 can be suspected to have asbestos. You should contact the company that did the construction and enquire if they used asbestos-containing materials. You might not get the right information from the construction company. In that case, you can hire a qualified professional to do an asbestos inspection.

If you get to know about the asbestos presence in your home then you should take the help of professionals to remove it safely. This work requires the use of asbestos PPE. FFP3 mask is very effective in asbestos removal work to safeguard the workers.

Conclusion

Earlier Asbestos was known for its insulating properties and was widely used in the construction of offices and homes. Later when the hazardous impact of asbestos on human health was ruled out its use was avoided.

After the information was there about the harmful effects of the asbestos, the problem emerged to determine whether or not asbestos was present in the old previously build constructions.