The Goldberg Law Firm Co., LPA

The Goldberg Law Firm Co., LPA

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Asbestos In The Home

Even if asbestos is in your home, this is usually NOT a serious problem. The mere presence of asbestos in a home or a building is not hazardous. The danger is that asbestos materials may become damaged over time. Damaged asbestos may release asbestos fibers and become a health hazard.

Where Asbestos Hazards May Be Found In The Home

  • Asbestos cement roofing, shingles and siding. These products are not likely to release  asbestos fibers  unless sawed, drilled, or cut.
  • Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.
  • Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was banned in 1977. Sanding, scraping or drilling these surfaces may release asbestos.
  • Artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces may contain asbestos.
  • Older household products such as stove-top pads, fireproof gloves, ironing board covers, and certain hair dryer’s may have some asbestos compounds;
  • Door gaskets in furnaces, wood stoves, and coal stoves may contain asbestos compounds. Worn seals can release asbestos fibers during use.
  • Walls and floors around wood burning stoves may be protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets. Repairing or removing appliances may release asbestos fibers. So may cutting, tearing, sanding, drilling, or sawing insulation.
  • Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives used for installing floor tile. Sanding tiles can release fibers. So may scraping or sanding the backing of sheet flooring during removal.
  • Hot water, steam pipes and boilers in older houses and apartment buildings may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.  These materials may release asbestos fibers if damaged, repaired, or removed improperly.
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.
  • Soundproofing or decoration material sprayed on walls and ceilings may contain asbestos. Loose, crumbly, or water-damaged material may release fibers. So will sanding, drilling, or scraping.
  • Automobile brake pads and linings, clutch facings and gaskets.

What Should Be Done About Asbestos In The Home?

If you think asbestos may be in your home, don’t panic! Usually the best thing is to LEAVE asbestos material that is in good condition ALONE. Generally, material in good condition will not release asbestos fibers.

THERE IS NO DANGER unless fibers are released and inhaled into the lungs. Check material regularly if you suspect it may contain asbestos. Don’t touch it, but look for signs of wear or damage such as tears, abrasions, or water damage. Damaged material may release asbestos fibers. This is particularly true if you often disturb it by hitting, rubbing, or handling it, or if it is exposed to extreme vibration or air flow. Sometimes, the best way to deal with slightly damaged material is to limit access to the area and not touch or disturb it. Discard damaged or worn asbestos gloves, stove-top pads, or ironing board covers. Check with local health, environmental, or other appropriate officials to find out proper handling and disposal procedures. If asbestos material is more than slightly damaged, or if you are going to make changes in your home that might disturb it, repair or removal by a professional is needed. Before you have your house remodeled, find out whether asbestos materials are present.

WorkSafe Bulletin – Asbestos hazards in demolition, renovation, and salvage