by Templar Mould
Just the suspicion that your home or office might be contaminated is enough reason for complete asbestos testing throughout the building. Prolonged breathing of air containing asbestos fibres can cause fatal illnesses including mesothelioma and lung cancer.
If asbestos is sealed in such a way that particles cannot become airborne, then the risk of illness is very low. Indeed, there may still be asbestos containing products in your home, including roofing shingles, vinyl flooring tile and acoustic ceiling tiles. While these products are made to standards that minimize the chance of breathable particles being released into the air, they can still breakdown over time or release fibres when being removed.
So there is the chance of fibres being present even in new homes and buildings and testing is the only way to know for sure.
Many people feel that if no fibres are present in the air inside a building, then there is no reason for concern. While not detecting any fibres is a good sign, there are still potential problems that only complete, proper testing, performed by professionals, can reveal.
- Air Testing: If airborne particles are the real problem, then testing must include air sampling. It’s important to test throughout the building, including attics and other hidden spots, and not just near areas suspected of being contaminated, because you may not be sure of which materials contain asbestos and/or which are breaking down.
- Materials Testing: A professional will know which materials have the potential to be contaminated and can inspect, analyze and test all of them, regardless of whether there are fibres present or if they have started to breakdown.
Considering the health risks to a building’s occupants, taking the time and effort to ensure that your premises are asbestos-free is a small price to pay for the peace of mind of knowing that your environment is clean and healthy.