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What Happens to Your Home When It’s Packed With Asbestos?

AMI Environmental 
What Happens to Your Home When It’s Packed With Asbestos?

Asbestos is a dangerous substance. When it encounters the human body, it can cause deadly lung disease, as well as cancer.

Making sure your home is free of asbestos, however, can be challenging. When asbestos is disturbed, such as when a house is built, or flooring is removed, microscopic fibers can escape into the air. These fibers become airborne and can enter the lungs, where they can cause serious health problems.

It is why many homeowners hire safety and environmental health consultant in Omaha, as these experts have the proper knowledge, skills, expertise, and tools to get rid of this harmful content. 

But before you call them too, here are some facts to consider about asbestos in homes.

How Asbestos Ends Up In Your Home?

Found most often as a component of flooring, ceiling tiles, and wallboard, asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral popular for its ability to resist heat and fire. What makes it so dangerous is its tendency to create tiny airborne fibers when disturbed. When those small particles enter your body through your lungs or digestive tract, they can cause asbestosis, scarring of lung tissue that reduces oxygen flow, and mesothelioma, rare cancer that develops from tissue surrounding internal organs.

If you think your home may contain asbestos, a test from a licensed residential asbestos testing in Omaha is a great place to start.

Signs You Might Have Asbestos In Your Home

If you live in an older home, there is likely asbestos somewhere inside. If you notice what looks like white or blue insulation material on your ceiling or floorboards, if you see suspicious stains on these surfaces, or if you smell a burning odor coming from any of these areas of your home, asbestos could be present. Otherwise, safe levels of asbestos can become hazardous when pieces begin to flake off over time.

In general, there are two ways you can test your home:

Visual Inspection

 A visual inspection does just as it sounds: an inspector walks through and looks for signs of asbestos or mold, such as small holes or crumbling debris. These tests aren’t comprehensive but are good enough to let you know if you need further investigation or testing. It can be difficult to tell whether fibers are airborne, making them dangerous to breathe in; only an actual test from an environmental solutions consultant in Omaha will let you know for sure.

Destructive Testing

The other way to know for sure if your home contains asbestos is by sending off samples of your drywall, insulation, flooring for testing to safety and environmental health consultant in Omaha. This is a destructive test that requires cutting into pieces of material that are then sent off for lab analysis.

The method of testing for asbestos is called Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM). This process involves grinding up a sample and passing it through a small slit. The different particles become polarized as they pass through, revealing distinct colors that indicate their mineral content. These particles are then magnified by a microscope, allowing experts to identify asbestos fibers.

Symptoms To Check If You Are Affected

There are many symptoms of asbestos exposure, but most people may never develop symptoms unless they are exposed over a long period. Suppose you believe you have been exposed to asbestos. In that case, it is essential to visit your doctor as soon as possible so they can properly diagnose your condition and begin any necessary treatment. The most common symptoms of asbestos exposure include:

  • nausea,
  • fatigue,
  • shortness of breath,
  • chest pain,
  • abdominal pain and heartburn.

Long-term asbestos exposure can lead to severe illnesses like asbestosis, mesothelioma, and cancer. And it’s why residential asbestos testing in Omaha is so essential.

Is hiring a professional asbestos removal service worth it?

If you’re concerned about asbestos exposure, your first step should be getting it tested. This may seem simple but can quickly become complicated. Testing procedures for asbestos differ depending on whether you live in a state that regulates asbestos abatement or not.

The EPA’s Superfund program, for example, requires additional testing procedures of varying complexity based on where you built your home and how much exposure is likely to have occurred over time. However, you should only proceed with these tests after talking with a qualified and licensed safety and environmental health consultant in Omaha about whether you need to worry about any specific material.

Final Line

Most states require that buildings built before 1980 inspection for asbestos, but these laws vary by state. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends hiring an accredited inspector if you plan on renovating or demolishing any pre-1980s buildings. This will ensure that everything is removed and disposed of safely, rather than simply covering up asbestos with paint or another material.

AMI Environmental 
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