In this era, more and more people are opting to go the DIY way in almost every project in their homes. This involves knocking down walls and tearing out the old pipes as well as tiles with the aim of giving their home a modern look.
However, in their efforts to make their homes look better, some homeowners might be exposing themselves to asbestos fibres which can be a huge threat to your health.
Haven’t Heard So Much About Asbestos?
Asbestos is a term used to refer to a group of minerals that are composed of microscopic fibres. Breathing in these fibres is usually known to cause damage to the lungs. The main ailments associated with breathing in asbestos include but may not be limited to the following:
- Non-malignant pleural disease
- Asbestos-related lung cancer
- Mesothelioma (a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs)
Asbestos was commonly used in buildings for roofing, insulation, and flooring before its dangers became clear. As of now, it’s banned in the UK. However, most of the buildings constructed earlier than the year 2000 may still contain asbestos.
Is My Home Dangerous To Live In If It Has Asbestos?
If you are a homeowner, the question that is more than likely ringing in your mind right now is whether your home is really safe to live in if it contains asbestos. Well, one thing you should keep in mind is that as long as the asbestos-containing materials in your building remain intact, they pose very little to no threat to your health.
The only time when a threat arises is when these materials are disturbed or damaged to a point where they release the tiny fibres into the air. In such a situation, the likelihood of the asbestos fibres finding their way into your lungs is considerably higher.
After being exposed to asbestos, the symptoms of an asbestos-related disease can take a significant number of years – at times even decades – before showing up. Therefore, a disease that shows up today as a result of asbestos exposure may actually be as a result of asbestos exposure that happened years or even decades ago.
Where Can You Find Asbestos In Your Home?
This is a topic you should pay a lot of attention to, so as to avoid accidental exposure to asbestos. A good rule of thumb is to avoid touching anything in your home that you suspect is asbestos. Even if the material appears to be in good condition, the best thing to do is leave it alone.
The main areas where you can find asbestos in your home include but are not limited to the following:
- Roof shingles
- Textured paint
- Ceiling and floor tiles
- Spray-on insulation (house insulation in buildings from the 1930s to 1950s)
- Steam pipes
- In your garage (old automobile parts such as brakes, gaskets, and clutches)
- Soundproofing or decorative materials
How Can You Tell If It’s Asbestos
It’s almost impossible to identify asbestos simply by looking at it. For this reason, the best thing to do is hire trained asbestos professionals who can collect samples and take them to a lab for testing. If the material is proven to contain asbestos, you should seek the assistance of professionals in getting rid of it.
Who Is At Risk?
Most of the time, living in a home that has asbestos-containing materials does not put you at a high risk of exposure. The majority of cases are usually as a result of exposure to asbestos fibres over a long period, especially at one’s place of work.
As such, individuals who are at a higher risk are those who have worked as:
- Asbestos miners
People who have worked in factories that dealt with asbestos products are also at high risk. Living with someone who has been considerably exposed to asbestos might also pose a risk.
There You Go
That’s just about everything you should know about domestic asbestos and how to protect yourself from exposure. Always remember that you should avoid handling any material that you suspect contains asbestos. With so many professionals who can help with that, you undoubtedly have an option to stay safe.