We provide comprehensive asbestos testing, pre demolition and pre renovation surveys as well as asbestos removal services.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral with exceptional heat and fire-resistant properties. Historically used in various industries and construction materials, it has been found to pose serious health risks when its microscopic fibers are released into the air and subsequently inhaled or ingested. Exposure to asbestos is linked to life-threatening diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer. Recognizing the dangers associated with asbestos is crucial for safe handling and removal, ensuring the well-being of individuals and the community.
Where Can I Find Asbestos?
Asbestos can be found in a wide range of building materials and products, including insulation, roofing shingles, floor tiles, and even some household items like appliances and textiles. It was commonly used in construction prior to the 1980s, so older homes and buildings are more likely to contain asbestos-containing materials. To determine if asbestos is present in a specific location, it’s essential to conduct a professional asbestos inspection and testing, as asbestos may not always be visible and can exist in a dormant state until disturbed, posing a potential health risk when renovation or demolition work is planned.
Our Client Testimonials
Where is asbestos commonly found?
Below are examples of buildings materials that are commonly found to contain asbestos:
- Ceiling Tiles
- Linoleum Flooring
- Vinyl Flooring
- Glues & Mastics
- Popcorn Ceilings
- Spray On Fireproofing
- Window Glazing
- Insulation – Attic
- Insulation – Walls & Ceilings
- Insulation – on Heat Pipes
- Joint Compound
- Cove Bases
- Undercoating Sinks
- Fireproof Boards
- Around Flues
- Stair Treads
- Paper Backing -Flooring, Roofs, Siding etc.
How Can People Be Exposed to Asbestos?
Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material if they becomes damaged or deteriorate, or when demolition work is performed, or building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling occur. In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way and release dust, particles or asbestos fibers into the ambient air.
The most common way for asbestos fibers to enter the body is through breathing. In fact, asbestos containing material is not generally considered to be harmful unless it is releasing dust or fibers into the air where they can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed. Please note asbestos fibers can remain in the ambient air for up to 96 hours. Many of the fibers will become trapped in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat where they can then be removed, but some may pass deep into the lungs, or, if swallowed, into the digestive tract. Once they are trapped in the body, the fibers can cause health problems
Health Effects From Exposure to Asbestos
Because it is so hard to destroy asbestos fibers, the body cannot break them down or remove them once they are lodged in lung or body tissues. They remain in place where they can cause disease.
There are three primary diseases associated with asbestos exposure:
Asbestosis-is a serious, chronic, non-cancerous respiratory disease. Inhaled asbestos fibers aggravate lung tissues, which cause them to scar. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath and a dry crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling. In its advanced stages, the disease may cause cardiac failure. There is no effective treatment for asbestosis; the disease is usually disabling or fatal. The risk of asbestosis is minimal for those who do not work with asbestos; the disease is rarely caused by neighborhood or family exposure. Those who renovate or demolish buildings that contain asbestos may be at significant risk, depending on the nature of the exposure and precautions taken.
Lung Cancer-causes the largest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure. The incidence of lung cancer in people who are directly involved in the mining, milling, manufacturing and use of asbestos and its products is much higher than in the general population. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are coughing and a change in breathing. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent chest pains, hoarseness, and anemia. People who have been exposed to asbestos and are also exposed to some other carcinogen — such as cigarette smoke — have a significantly greater risk of developing lung cancer than people who have only been exposed to asbestos. One study found that asbestos workers who smoke are about 90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than people who neither smoke nor have been exposed to asbestos.
Mesothelioma-Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that most often occurs in the thin membrane lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen, and (rarely) heart. About 200 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. Virtually all cases of mesothelioma are linked with asbestos exposure. Approximately 2 percent of all miners and textile workers who work with asbestos, and 10 percent of all workers who were involved in the manufacture of asbestos-containing gas masks, contract mesothelioma. People who work in asbestos mines, asbestos mills and factories, and shipyards that use asbestos, as well as people who manufacture and install asbestos insulation, have an increased risk of mesothelioma. So do people who live with asbestos workers, near asbestos mining areas, near asbestos product factories or near shipyards where use of asbestos has produced large quantities of airborne asbestos fibers.