Healthcare Technology Featured Article

July 02, 2020

Is There Asbestos in Your House? What To Look For

If you’re living in an old house, it’s essential to find out if there’s asbestos in your dwelling. However, it’s quite challenging to be sure if your home may have asbestos. Perhaps, you’ll never know unless someone tells you or you get your home checked by an asbestos detection device.

Asbestos was one of the essential construction materials for homes and buildings in the 1980s because it was considered durable and cheap. However, it was later found that exposure to asbestos can be dangerous for health.

Asbestos can become a health hazard when asbestos-containing materials are damaged. When they deteriorate, they release asbestos fibers which, when inhaled, can cause serious health issues, including cancer.

If you want to be sure that your home is free from this hazardous chemical, keep reading this article to find out if your home has asbestos.

Signs Of Asbestos Materials In Your Home

Typically, continuous exposure to asbestos can be dangerous for your health and your family’s safety. Because of this, it’s vital to perform a visual survey of your place to check for signs of asbestos. Here’s what you should look for during your inspection:

  • Date Of Construction - Before proceeding to check the visual indicators of asbestos, check the construction date to know whether your house was built with asbestos materials. For instance, if your home was built during or before the 1980s, there’s a high chance that most of the building materials used contained asbestos. During this period, asbestos-containing materials were used for walls, ceilings, roofs, and even floor tiles.
  • Vinyl Tiles - Vinyl flooring tiles are more likely to contain asbestos than other tiles. Therefore, inspect your home’s flooring and see if you have vinyl flooring. Having this type of flooring was popular during the 1980s. Therefore, if you’re staying in an old home, there’s a high probability that your flooring contains asbestos.
  • Pipe Insulation - Before or during the 1980s, grey or white asbestos was used to insulate pipes because of its fireproofing and insulation properties. Hence, check the type of pipe insulation as it may contain a huge amount of asbestos.
  • Ceiling Tiles – If you have old ceiling tiles, there’s a chance that they contain asbestos.
  • Roofing Sheets – Generally, most flat corrugated roofing sheets have asbestos content. They use white asbestos because of its durability. However, even if it makes your roofing material durable, you may develop Mesothelioma cancer from asbestos exposure. That’s why it’s best to check for asbestos before it’s too late. Moreover, when you’re diagnosed with cancer, you have legal options against the responsible party. So, you better hire a lawyer to help you in such a situation.

Ways To Detect Asbestos In Your Home

Technically, a visual inspection of your house isn’t adequate to confirm the presence of asbestos in the building materials. This is where technological innovations come into play. We know how technology has improved the health industry and other sectors in society. Similarly, technological advancements have also played a crucial role in making asbestos detection much easier, faster, and more accurate.

So, here’s how technological devices and testing procedures have innovated asbestos detection:

  • Handheld Spectroscopy – This technological device makes the detection process much easier and faster because it doesn’t require a sample and lab investigation. Instead, the device operator can bring the device on the site and detect the chemical directly. The device utilizes the interaction between matter and light to know which elements a specific material is made up of.
  • Magnetic Field – This recent technological advancement uses magnets and lasers to identify asbestos fibers in building materials. This is a state-of-the-art sensor that can even spot low concentrations of asbestos in the air. Because of this, a magnetic field device is considered significant because it can reduce the ability of this material to cause serious health problems.
  • Traditional Microscopy – This is the most popular way of spotting asbestos content in your home. For instance, a sample of suspected asbestos fibers is collected and sent to the laboratory. The laboratory technician examines the sample through a microscope. Each fiber is carefully investigated to confirm if it is asbestos or some other material. Unlike other methods, conducting traditional microscopy can be challenging. You need a certified asbestos abatement pro to do the sampling to avoid unnecessary exposure to the hazardous material.

Bottom Line

Indeed, asbestos fibers can have severe adverse effects on your health. The more you’re exposed, the more you’re at risk of getting an asbestos-related illness. Therefore, if you want to keep your family safe and healthy, keep the above information in mind. You’ll know how to recognize the presence of asbestos in your home accurately and take corrective action immediately.

Fred Palmer

Fred Palmer is an asbestos professional who works by inspecting any infrastructure for the presence of asbestos and creating solutions for any asbestos-related problem. Fred has the necessary experience and training for the job and has continued to gain the loyalty of thousands of customers. 

When Fred is not working, he loves to write articles about asbestos and how dangerous this mineral is once touched.


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