What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was once used in construction materials as an insulation and a fire retardant. It has not been used in new applications since the early 1980s, so it's most often found in older homes and buildings. You may find asbestos in:
Asbestos is only a health hazard if its fibers become airborne and are inhaled. This happens when asbestos-containing materials are broken up during removal or renovation or just through regular use, such as in the case of floor tile.
Once inhaled, asbestos fibers can lodge and accumulate in the lungs. Health problems include lung scarring and cancer of the lungs, esophagus, stomach, intestines and rectum. Symptoms may not appear for many years.What you can do...
If you live in a home or work in a business built prior to the late 1980's, find out whether asbestos is present before starting any remodeling. If you suspect asbestos is present, contact an asbestos professional to provide information and advice on sampling, removal and handling of any asbestos containing building materials.
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