Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals often characterized by needle-like fibers. It is commonly used in building insulation, flooring, and roofing. Asbestos is resistant to electricity, fire, and heat, making it one of the most durable minerals to support commercial, industrial, and residential buildings.
The properties of asbestos could create structurally sound infrastructure, but damaging or disturbing the structure of the material can lead to serious health risks. Altering the structure of asbestos can release tiny fibers into the air. Anyone who inhales or ingests these fibers can develop cancer from asbestos, along with asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Asbestos also creates a negative impact on the environment. It can easily travel through the air and water supplies. Asbestos is resistant to degradation, which means that even if the use of this mineral is banned in a specific state, it can still persist in the environment and continue to harm countless human lungs.
You can reduce the harmful effects of asbestos on the environment and to your health by following these tips:
1. Avoid Materials That Contain Asbestos
As mentioned, the durability of asbestos is one of the reasons why more and more people are using the material in their homes and workplaces. However, if you don’t want to take any risks, it’s best if you avoid using building or construction materials that potentially contain asbestos.
If you’re planning to renovate or construct any building, make sure that you steer clear from anything that has the said mineral in it. There are now several construction materials that work better than those that contain asbestos.
Polyurethane foams, for example, are great alternatives because these do not emit harmful gasses even after long-term use. These are water-based foams that can completely seal any spaces, leaving no room for dust and mold formation, thus they’re suitable for people who suffer from allergies.
2. Pay Attention To The Condition Of Existing Materials
Asbestos is likely present in your home or workplace if the infrastructure was built from 1930 to 1950. Because of its properties, asbestos is commonly used in exterior surfaces, insulation, flooring, and even built-in equipment such as water heaters and dishwashers.
However, just because the above-mentioned materials are present in your home or workplace, it doesn’t mean that you should replace or remove all of these. As long as the asbestos material is in good condition, you don’t have to worry about it releasing harmful fibers in the air.
After identifying asbestos materials in your home or workplace, regularly check for any signs of damage. Over time, these materials can acquire water damages and abrasions. The asbestos material can get damaged if it’s often rubbed or hit. Excessive exposure to airflow and extreme vibration can also disturb the fibers of the material.
3. Ask For Professional Help
Some homeowners will have a hard time identifying which materials contain asbestos. This is especially true if they weren’t present during the construction of their homes or if they just moved into a new house. If you’re one of them, don’t take any chances; work with professionals who can check the asbestos levels in your home.
Today, you can now hire asbestos inspectors and contractors. These professionals will assess the condition of any infrastructure and take samples of its materials for testing. They can provide professional advice if corrections are needed.
If the asbestos inspector recommended for the repair or removal of certain materials, hire an asbestos contractor. They have the necessary training, experience, and equipment to properly repair or remove materials that contain asbestos. Their services will also include clean-up to ensure that the occupants of the building are not exposed to asbestos fibers.
When hiring an asbestos inspector and an asbestos contractor, make sure that you’re choosing from two different companies. Doing this can prevent conflict of interest and ensure that you’re only paying for necessary repair or removal services.
When choosing which professionals to hire, ask about their licenses and accreditations, too. You don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on people who don’t have the right skills to properly handle asbestos materials.
Asbestos fibers can’t be seen by the naked eye, making it hard to determine if your home or workplace has them. More often than not, you will only be able to identify that asbestos is present when you start to experience symptoms of certain health conditions.
Keep your home, workplace, and, above all else, your health safe from asbestos by using this article as your guide. The sooner you start with your efforts, the easier it’ll be for you to live a life free from asbestos.