What Is Asbestos & Why It’s Dangerous

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Does it seem odd hearing about asbestos in 2020? It should be all cleared up by this point…right? Well, you’re partly right. Builders, contractors, and other home improvement companies now have the knowledge and the resources to make sure asbestos never becomes an issue in newer homes. Unfortunately, if your home was built before the 1980s you might still be at risk. Here’s what you need to know:

Why is it still an issue even today?

Before the 1980s, you could find asbestos in quite a few materials such as pipes, insulation, cement, floor tiles, and more. While we have substantial knowledge of it now, any home built before that time period, with the original materials still intact, may have some sort of asbestos lingering. In New Jersey alone, there are numerous homes that are still at risk with asbestos materials. When new families move in, naturally they want to update the house, but without knowing whether or not asbestos is lingering in their home, that simple renovation could be extremely harmful to the family. Common household exposures are:

What Is Asbestos & Why It’s Dangerous 1
  • Attic renovation
  • Removing vinyl flooring
  • Drilling in drywall
  • Removing a popcorn ceiling
  • Cutting into the original pipes
man using machine to refinish floor

Why is asbestos so dangerous?

One of the scariest parts about it is that it’s microscopic. Inhaling any sort of dust we’ve discovered can be dangerous, but it’s even worse when asbestos is mixed in. Because of how small the fibers are, it’s very easy for it to get deep into the lungs getting lodged into the lung tissue. Once it gets into the tissues, even in a small amount it can cause asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, and more. What’s even scarier is you may not have any symptoms until years down the line.

How can you prevent it?

If you know your home was built before the 1980s the best way to know is to have whatever area you want to be renovated tested for asbestos. You can research for “asbestos inspections near you” to find a licensed expert.