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Identifying asbestos: Where is it?

We have discussed the dangers of what can happen when asbestos is disturbed. The fiber can be inhaled and cause serious damage to a person lungs and overall health. But what if a person doesn't know what asbestos looks like? Additionally, what should a person do if he or she thinks there is asbestos in their home?

Most often, the news reports on stories when a company is responsible for knowingly exposing workers to asbestos who then get sick years later. But because it was commonly used in many household products until the 1980s, it may be the case that a person doing some regular home renovations could discover what may or may not be asbestos.

Often, it can be nearly impossible for a person to detect asbestos on their own. There is no smell, no identifying color or taste to it. It usually takes a professional testing procedure to determine whether or not asbestos is present in a product. Before demolition or construction work on a house, a person should definitely consider having an inspection done. As long as the asbestos is undisturbed, it poses little hazard to people. So, before drilling, sawing or removing items that may contain asbestos, testing should be done.

Often, products that contain asbestos can commonly be found in houses built prior to the 1980s. It can be in sulation, plumbing, flooring and tiling, textured ceilings and other items that typically made use of the fire-resistant qualities of asbestos.

If asbestos has been detected in a home or office, having it removed responsibly and immediately is necessary. An individual will want to contact a licensed asbestos-removal company. Staying away from the product and making sure it is not disturbed in any way is important. If the fibers become airborne, they can cause serious damage to a person's health.

Although it is difficult for an individual to identify asbestos, manufacturers of asbestos products have a thorough understanding of the damages their products can cause. If a person has been working with or around asbestos without knowing it, there is a possibility that another party was aware of the hazards and failed to properly notify anyone.

Source: News Olio, "Home Improvement Advice for Asbestos," May 28, 2012

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