Why You Need It
Based on widely documented health risks, most people are very aware of the need for asbestos abatement. Chronic inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause a number of serious, life-threatening illnesses, including malignant lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Asbestos became popular with manufacturers and builders due to its many different uses, which included insulation, sound proofing, protection against fire and resistance to electrical and chemical damage.
Once increased incidence of lung problems and related deaths were noted in people who mined asbestos or worked with it, the search for ways to eliminate the health risks began.
What You Don’t Know
While many people think the health problems were eliminated a long time ago, the facts are that serious problems remain and abatement is needed now as much as ever.
While production was banned in the U.S. in 1978, the use of asbestos was not. It meant that existing applications could be re-used and homes built as late as the mid 1980s may have been built with it.
In addition, vermiculite, another mineral popular in building trades for its insulating and fire-retardant qualities, was mainly supplied throughout the world from a mine in Libby, Montana. In 1990, the vermiculite from the Libby mine was found to be contaminated with asbestos and production was stopped.
The result is that, while we have known about the dangers for over 100 years, only homes or buildings that are less than 20 years old are not likely to need treatment.
What To Do If Your Home Or Business Building Is Over 20 Years Old
If your home is over 20 years old and you suspect it may be contaminated, do not try fix the problem yourself.
The first step is to confirm that a problem exists and the second step is to determine the best remedial actions. The danger comes from airborne fibres, which can be inhaled. If there is no danger of fibres being released into the air, it is often best to leave the situation as it is instead of disturbing the fibres. In other cases, the best treatment is to seal the area to eliminate any chance that fibres will become airborne.