How to Identify Asbestos in the Home and Workplace
There are many dangers associated with exposure to asbestos. Inhaling asbestos can cause asbestosis and mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of the lining of organs, which most commonly affects the lungs. While the dangers associated with exposure to asbestos have been understood for a long time, the material was widely used throughout much of the 20th century in building materials and other products.
Despite regulations and multiple attempts to outlaw it completely, the use of asbestos in some building materials is still not banned to this day. If you’re concerned about potentially being exposed to asbestos, you should read this helpful guide and learn how you can test for asbestos in your home or workplace, identify it, and remove the threat.
What Does Asbestos Look Like?
If you’re living or working in a building that was constructed before 1980, there’s a chance the building may have floor tiles, ceiling tiles, roof shingles, insulation, and many other materials which contain asbestos.
Thankfully, many products which contain asbestos are easy to recognize, but visual inspections usually aren’t sufficient to determine with certainty the presence of asbestos. Still, if you’re wondering what asbestos looks like, it usually looks like attic insulation. In other words, it looks like layers of thick fuzz.
If you suspect that you have asbestos in your workplace or home, it’s important that you do not touch it. The dangerous fibers are easily released into the air if you aren’t careful and handle asbestos improperly. Instead, there are a couple good options for determining if you have asbestos that don’t put you at risk. You can use an asbestos testing kit or contract an asbestos professional to do an inspection.
How Can You Test for Asbestos in Your Home?
1. Asbestos Testing Kits
You can test for asbestos in your home with a home testing kit. But as we’ve discussed before, there are pros and cons when it comes to using an asbestos testing kit.
While, in some cases, it’s less expensive than hiring a trained professional to conduct an evaluation, that’s not always the case and you will still have to consult with a professional to make sure the asbestos is removed safely, if it’s found at your location.
Still, if you’re confident that you can safely collect a sample and send it to a lab for testing, asbestos testing kits are a good choice. If, on the other hand, you’d prefer to let the professionals handle it, there are accredited professionals you can hire.
2. Asbestos Professionals
Hiring a trained asbestos professional to inspect for asbestos in your workplace or home is the safest option.
There are two kinds of asbestos professionals: asbestos inspectors, who can inspect your home, take samples, and provide some guidance, and asbestos contractors, who can remove and replace asbestos-containing materials in your home or workplace.
There are several advantages to using an asbestos inspector to determine if there’s asbestos present. The first is that they have training and experience to help you determine if you should be alarmed or not. The second is that, if there is asbestos in your home or workplace, they can help you to ensure that everyone minimizes their risk of exposure.
Concerns about the cost of hiring an accredited professional should come second to ensuring safety, though it’s important to realize that with lab testing fees and the cost of asbestos home testing kits, it can sometimes be less expensive to hire a professional. This is especially true if you need to test several different samples.
Contact a Mesothelioma Attorney
Identifying asbestos in the home or workplace is important to do if there are concerns that you, your loved ones, or your co-workers are in danger of being exposed to the deadly material. While it’s sometimes possible to determine the presence of asbestos using the name or age of the materials, it’s often a good idea to use an asbestos testing kit or hire a trained professional to identify and remove any dangerous materials.
If you’re concerned you’ve already been exposed to asbestos in your workplace or home, and would like to contact an experienced asbestos and mesothelioma attorney, please don’t hesitate to contact Nelson MacNeil Rayfield for a free consultation.