While it once was used as a standard building material, asbestos is now used less often because of the possible harm to human health. But just how bad is it, and how should you deal with it if you find it in your home or place of work?
A Hidden Potential Health Nightmare
Asbestos can be extremely dangerous. People who are directly exposed to it as part of their job are the most at risk because long-term exposure can result in various significant health problems. WebMD states that asbestos exposure can cause asbestosis, “an inflammatory condition of lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and eventually scarring of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe”; mesothelioma, “a rare cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, chest cavity, or abdomen”; lung cancer; and other lung problems.
Why You Should Leave Asbestos Removal to the Professionals
It may be tempting to remove asbestos immediately yourself, but you’re better off leaving the task to someone who knows how to deal with this toxic substance. Improvement Centre considers the removal of “popcorn ceilings,” which may contain asbestos, one of the three times you shouldn’t do it yourself (DIY), and Red Beacon lists asbestos removal as one of the top 10 most deadly DIY projects.
If you are going to remove asbestos yourself, the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Centre stresses the importance of the numerous steps necessary, ranging from taking on responsibility for the health of those on your removal team to “[p]roper work gear, clothing (overalls, boots, eye protection, gloves) and breathing respirators.” It’s both safer and simpler to have a professional do the job. While not all asbestos needs to be removed, it’s when you disturb asbestos that it becomes a problem. You won’t know what needs to be done until you’ve had it inspected.
Do You Suspect the Presence of Asbestos in Your Home?
If you think there may be asbestos in your home or place of work, Assurance Environmental can help. We conduct both residential and commercial mold and asbestos inspections in Toronto, Newmarket, and Barrie. We can tell you what the appropriate measures to be taken are in your particular asbestos situation.