Asbestos is a group of six minerals and is composed of very soft and flexible fibers.  The main quality of these fibers is that they are heat, electricity, and corrosion-resistant hence they are useful as an insulation material. Because of its toxicity and the harm, it has on human health it is not allowed to be more than 1% of a product. It has proven to cause cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis in humans.

In addition to being a good insulator, it was also used to strengthen some materials such as cement board and it was commonly used to insulate steam and hot water furnace piping.  Unfortunately, if asbestos dust particles are present in a material and they are inhaled or ingested in some way, they get trapped in the human body.  Over a long period of time, these fibers can cause inflammation, scars, or even genetic damage. The disease mesothelioma is specifically caused by exposure to asbestos fiber.

Exposure to this toxin in any concentration is not safe.  there is no known way to reverse its damage once it is trapped in the human body.  The majority of the detected patients are men in their late 60s who were exposed decades ago because the latency period of asbestos is very long. 

According to the US EPA, asbestos products may be encapsulated and left in place or removed and properly disposed of.  Disposal and encapsulation should only be done by EPA approved asbestos removal specialists.

Asbestos can be found in:

Homes built before 1980 may have asbestos-containing products.  Asbestos testing is invasive and requires removing a small sample of the material and sending it to a certified laboratory for analysis.  If you suspect your home contains asbestos products call us for evaluation.  Asbestos is a dangerous carcinogen and should only be handled by trained professionals. 

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