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Common Questions For Householders Dealing With Asbestos

Asbestos can be a scary thought, especially to new homeowners. Many buildings built the 1980s and 1990s were constructed with asbestos-containing materials. If you are afraid you are in danger of exposure to these hazardous fibers, the following questions can help you better understand your situation.

  • Is asbestos really dangerous?
    Yes. Many people who were exposed have developed Mesothelioma. This is a type of cancer that can infect the lining of the abdomen, heart, and lungs. With this illness, many patients develop malignant tumors. Mesothelioma can develop years after exposure.

  • How can I know if my house has asbestos?
    If you suspect your home contains asbestos, it is important not to disturb any of the possibly infected materials. The fibers are too small to be seen by the naked eye. You should turn to a professional to remove a sample of the material and send it to a lab for inspection. One of the most common tests ran on suspected samples is polarized light microscopy, which uses light and magnification to determine if fibers are present.

  • How is it removed?
    As the material is very hazardous to your health, you should call a professional asbestos abatement business. After an inspection of the property, the contractors will begin the process. To reduce the chance of airborne fibers, the contractors will soak all materials with water before disturbing them. During and after the removal, the air quality must be tested to make sure it is safe to inhale.

  • What should I do if I have been exposed to the material?
    Go to the doctor immediately. While asbestos-related illnesses can take a while to rear their ugly heads, if you have developed a malignant tumor, it is best to catch it as soon as possible. Early treatment is far more successful than those tried in later stages of cancer.
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    Professional asbestos abatement companies come into a home or business and remove the toxic airborne particles. The material was once used in things like ceiling tiles, flooring, and items that insulated walls and electricals. If mold or other damage causes the material to crumble, the resulting dust causes a malignant cancer called mesothelioma. This disease is hard to fight. A number of lawsuits are helping victims and their families pay costly medical bills.

    Highly trained workers learn how to use special equipment to remove the material from a home, school, or business. They wear protective gear to prevent them from breathing in the particles. The workers study special abatement laws to learn how to get rid of the exposed material. They learn how to inspect and test for the presence of the material. They understand that bringing home any dust on their clothing or in their hair puts their family at risk of exposure to the particles. If you avoid being exposed, the chances of developing the mesothelioma's malignant tumors is greatly reduced.

    The substance occurs naturally too. The environmental form is found in rocks and water. California and Virginia are states where the fibers are found in nature. For this reason, it is important to know the symptoms of this cancerous lung disease caused when you inhale the particles into your lungs. Watch for difficulties breathing and chest pain. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical care to rule out this and other diseases.

    The use of chemicals and building materials containing asbestos stopped in 1989 and banned in the United States in 2004. If you're purchasing an older home or business, have a professional inspect, test, and clean up the material before moving in.