Asbestos Information

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is an organic mineral that comes from fibrous forms of magnesium silicate.  There are several types of Asbestos which include:

1. Chrysotile
2. Amosite
3. Crocidolite
4. Tremolite
5. Anthophyllite
6. Actinolite.

Why was Asbestos used?

Asbestos is a very useful material for manufacturers due to its' flexible characteristics.  Some of these characteristics are as follows:
  1. It does not burn and is a poor heat transmitter.  Therefore it can be used as a heat insulator very effectively.
  2. It conducts electricity poorly.  This makes it useful for electrical insulation.
  3. It is corrosion resistant.  Therefore, it can be used in many outdoor applications.
  4. It is durable and strong and flexible. This makes it attractive for tiles, roofing and other construction uses.
  5. Asbestos can be made soft and can be used in cloth applications.  Therefore, it is useful in the production of fire protective clothing.
  6. Asbestos is easily applied and can be spray painted onto surfaces.  It can also be added to concrete and other chemical mixtures.
How does exposure happen?

Practically everybody is exposed to small levels of asbestos throughout their lives. It can be found in the air that we breathe in very low concentration with the highest levels occuring in industrial and urban areas. The Asbestos fibers are usually released into the air as a result of activities which include remodeling, demolition work and other activities which involve disturbing asbestos is some way. Asbestos can also be found in some household tap water where the water pipes contain this hazardous material..

What should I do if I may have been exposed?

If you have ever worked in an occupation where you were regularly exposed to Asbestos, you are most likely at risk of developing asbestos or a related disease. An example of these occupations follows:
  1. Ship builders
  2. Petroleum plant workers
  3. Power plant workers
  4. Construction workers. 
Does the government still allow Asbestos to be used?

The utilization of asbestos was at its' peak  between the years of 1950 and 1975.  In 1989, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), issued a ban against the use of Asbestos.  However, two year later that ban was lifted due to lawsuits filed by the Asbestos industry.  Therefore, Asbestos use is still legal in certain industries.  However, any industry using Asbestos in its' products must clearly label the products as containing the material.

What if I have Asbestos in my home?

According the Environmental Protection Agency's website, the following guidelines should be followed if you think you have Asbestos in your home:
  1. Don't panic.
  2. Usually if the Asbestos material is in good condition, it will not release fibers into the air. Therefore, it's best to leave it alone if it is indeed in good condition.
  3. Inspect the Asbestos material on a regular basis. DONT TOUCH IT, just look for damage or wear.  More specifically, look for abrasions, tears, or even water
  4. You should always avoid bumping, hitting, rubbing or handling suspected Asbestos material.
  5. Excessive air flow or vibration on Asbestos material can potentially release fibers.
  6. If at all possible, limit access to the area where your suspect you have Asbestos.
  7. Throw away any worn gloves, ironing board covers, or stove-top pads that contain Asbestos.
  8. Check with local health, environmental, or other appropriate officials to find out proper handling and disposal procedures.
  9. If you choose to remove suspected Asbestos in your home or business, you should hire a professional to do the job.
  10. Before you remodel your house, you should first determine if any Asbestos is present.