Asbestos is a fibrous mineral which is resistant to heat, abrasion, chemicals, and is non-conductive for electricity. It was used in many building construction materials between 1900 and 1980. Asbestos may be present in steam pipe and boiler insulation, vermiculite attic insulation, floor tiles, exterior siding, roofing shingles and other building materials. more

Health Risks

Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material during product use, demolition work, building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling. When you inhale asbestos fibers, some fibers are deposited in your lungs. Fibers that are deposited in the deepest parts of the lung can remain in place for many years and may never be removed. Exposure to asbestos fibers may cause several illnesses including asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.

Populations at Risk

People who are exposed to asbestos over a long period of time and those with compromised lungs are most at risk for developing diseases from asbestos exposure. Many studies have shown that the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure is particularly hazardous. more Asbestos workers (now primarily those employed to remove asbestos) and those who live around asbestos are at higher risk to develop disease. more

What you should do

Avoid or lower your exposure to asbestos. As a homeowner you should have your house inspected when you move in, remove any damaged material, and do not disturb asbestos-containing material during renovations and/or remodeling. If you need to disturb asbestos-containing material hire qualified asbestos-removal professionals to do the work. more