Home > Mesothelioma
& Asbestos > . . .
Asbestos in Your Home
by: Kasi Jones
If you are concerned about asbestos exposure you are not
alone. Many individuals wonder if they have been exposed,
and if so, what they can do to help protect their health.
If you think that you have been exposed to asbestos or
are looking for ways to prevent an exposure, look no
further. We will go over some of the health problems that
arise from asbestos exposure, and what can be done to
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used for a
variety of different applications. Many homes may have
this material in their insulation, as it is a fire
retardant. Once exposed, individuals can inhale the
microscopic asbestos particles and take them into their
lungs. Once there, the fibers can cause lung cancer. If
prolonged exposure occurs, an individual can also develop
cancer in the chest cavity and abdomen.
It is important to note that many individuals have
experienced brief exposure and been just fine. The fine
asbestos particles are difficult to see and get rid of,
so it is common for them to remain in their air for long
periods of time thus increasing the risk of cancer.
Smokers are at an increased risk for side effects due to
If you think that your home may have asbestos there are
several places that you want to look. It is important to
remember that products today do not contain the fiber,
only things built in the 1970s or earlier.
- Steam pipes, boilers, and furnace ducts could be
insulated with an asbestos blanket or asbestos paper
tape. If the fibers become damaged or are repaired
improperly, they could lead to exposure.
- Resilient floor tiles- the backing on many vinyl sheet
flooring and adhesives could contain asbestos. Sanding
the tiles or scraping them could release the fibers.
- Cement, millboard, and paper that were used as
insulation around furnaces and wood burning stoves.
Repairing or removing these appliances could stir up the
- Door gaskets- in furnaces, wood stoves, and coal
- Sound proofing or decorative material sprayed on walls
and ceilings. Sanding, drilling or scraping the material
could be harmful.
- Cement roofing, shingles, and siding. This usually only
cause a problem when sawed, drilled, or cut.
If you think that you have asbestos in your home, dont
panic. If the material is good condition, you can leave
it alone. It is only when these materials are disturbed
that there is a problem. If you find a damaged area-
discard it using asbestos gloves and a facial mask. Your
local health or environmental officials will be able to
walk you through the proper disposal procedure. Always
check with them when beginning any remodeling job.
Remember, the only way to find out if something contains
asbestos is to look at it under a microscope. Enlist the
help of a professional, and let them handle the details.
They are trained in such removal procedures and can help
ensure the safety of your family and loved ones.
About The Author
Kasi Jones is a freelance health writer and contributing
author to http://www.asbestoscenter.info a site
providing free information on asbestos and mesothelioma.