Many Americans assume that asbestos is a workplace-related hazard. However, there are thousands of residential buildings across the US that may contain asbestos.
Given how harmful asbestos exposure is, you must take all proper precautions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it is wise to understand how to recognize products that may contain asbestos, and not to panic if you think you have it in your home.
How can I recognize asbestos?
Unfortunately, in most cases, it is impossible to tell whether or not an item has asbestos in it by visually inspecting it. Sometimes items with asbestos come with labels saying so, but this is not common.
The only way to know whether your home contains asbestos is to hire a trained professional. The professional will take samples from your home and bring them back to a lab for testing. Common products containing asbestos include textured paint, certain kinds of insulation, heat-resistant fabrics, and more.
What do I do if there is asbestos in my home?
If the item containing asbestos is in good shape, it is unlikely to release asbestos fibers. This means that you should not disturb any item that you know has asbestos in your home. If you notice that the item is beginning to deteriorate, you may need to call in professionals to remove it. Particularly if you are planning on a home remodel, a professional removing the item is a must.
The dangers of asbestos are well-known. Educating yourself about items in your home that potentially contain asbestos can help protect you and your family.