Asbestos Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals. Asbestos is resistant to chemical and thermal degradation, and also fireproof and basically indestructible.  Yet, asbestos poses a significant health risk to people who experience long term exposure and may develop certain diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and other forms of cancer.

  1. What is “ACM”?

“ACM” stands for Asbestos-Containing Material.

  1. What percentage is considered Asbestos Contained Material?

Any percentage above 1% is considered an asbestos-containing material.

  1. How do I know if I have asbestos in my home?

The only way to be sure whether a material contains asbestos is to have it tested by a qualified laboratory.

  1. What are the health risks if I have asbestos in my home, building, apartment, or

Asbestos that is in good condition and left undisturbed is unlikely to present a health risk. The risks from asbestos occur when it is damaged or disturbed where asbestos fibers become airborne and can be inhaled. Managing asbestos in place and maintaining it in good repair is often the best approach.

  1. I am thinking about buying a house but it has vermiculite attic insulation in it. Should I have it
    removed before or after I buy the house?

Removal of the vermiculite insulation may not be necessary if it is confined in a manner where it will be left undisturbed. If you choose to have the vermiculite insulation removed, the EPA recommends that you use a trained and accredited asbestos contractor that is separate and independent from the company that performed the assessment of the vermiculite insulation to avoid any conflict of interest.

  1. I’m remodeling my home. Do I need to be concerned about asbestos in the building materials?

It’s not possible for you to tell whether materials in your home contains asbestos simply by looking at it. If you suspect a material within your home might contain asbestos (for example floor tile, ceiling tile or old pipe wrap) and the material is damaged (fraying or falling apart) or if you are planning on performing a renovation that would disturb the material, the EPA recommends that you have it sampled by a properly trained and accredited asbestos professional (inspector).

  1. Does a home seller have to disclose to a potential buyer that a home contains

Federal law does not require the seller to disclose to a buyer that their home contains asbestos or vermiculite. State
or local requirements may require disclosure.
Contact your state about such requirements.

  1. Can I legally remove the asbestos from my own home?

As of 2018, there are no federal
 that ban a homeowner from removing asbestos from his or her own residence. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strongly recommends that you hire a professional to remove the asbestos.

  1. How should I dispose of asbestos waste?

Asbestos waste should only be handled by a licensed disposal site (an asbestos landfill). Your local authority can provide details of these for you. It also needs to be transported to these sites in suitable containers that prevent the release of any asbestos fibers while in transite.