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FAF Blog

Asbestos Do’s and Don’ts for the Homeowner

By FAF Staff Writer, (228 words) Posted in Health Issues on October 15, 2009
There are (17) comments permalink

Asbestos that was once used in a variety of building products, including flooring, is a very dangerous material giving rise to several terminal diseases of the respiratory and abdominal tract. Lung cancer, mesothelioma (an incurable form of cancer), and asbestosis are three such conditions.

Asbestos was extensively used in the past before its dangers were known. It still exists in some old buildings as flooring, thermal and acoustic insulation, steam pipes, roofing, textured paints and patching and jointing compounds. Care should be taken if a homeowner finds asbestos in the house.

Asbestos if in good condition will not release any dangerous fibers and is best left alone. However the material should be checked frequently for signs of wear, or damage like abrasions, tears and water damage. Damaged material could potentially be hazardous as a source of fiber release. If a particular material is slightly damaged, access to the area should be limited and the area left untouched. However if the material is extensively damaged or the homeowner feels a change is called for, removal should be undertaken by a professional. Asbestos professionals are specially trained for this purpose. The credentials of the professional should first be verified before being entrusted with the assignment.

Damaged asbestos material should immediately be dispensed with. However it is best to consult local health or other environmental official as to the best method of handling and proper disposal procedures.

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