At this current moment, an asbestos testing is not required for property built after the year 1980. However, there still might be a chance that you might find asbestos in your home. Asbestos refers to a group of minerals that are characterized by their needle-like fibers. These fibers are microscopic and can cause serious health problems if the asbestos materials are disturbed. Although it has been widely established that asbestos is a harmful substance, it has not been fully banned in the United States. There are however, some asbestos-containing products that have been banned in the past but are not banned anymore. These include:
- Asbestos clothing
- Roof coatings
- Vinyl-asbestos tiles
The Harmful Effects of Asbestos
As mentioned above, asbestos has been shown to cause health problems in people who have been exposed by the fibers. However, not many people know why it is harmful. Asbestos fibers cannot be seen because they are microscopic. When the fibers are disturbed, they can become airborne and get stuck in the lining of our lungs. As such, this might cause incessant coughing, allergic reactions and even tightness in the chest. It can also lead to more serious health complications, such as mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lungs, lung cancer, and even death in the worst cases. Understanding that asbestos can actually be so harmful to us, we should invest in hiring professionals to carry out asbestos testing for us. This can grant us peace of mind while paving way to methods of remediation if the tests come back positive.
Why Do Asbestos Testing Before Renovation
As mentioned above, when asbestos materials are disturbed, the fibers can become airborne and increase the risk of getting lodged in our lungs. Chances are that if the renovation is a large-scale one, these materials might become unsettled. During the asbestos testing, any asbestos-containing materials will be inspected without being disturbed. The test will reveal which materials are harmful and which materials are not. This information can then be relayed to your renovation contractor so that they will know which materials to avoid touching. Any materials that are deemed harmful should be remediated by a professional as well.
Screening for Asbestos Poisoning
If you suspect that you might have asbestos poisoning from inhaling the fibers, you definitely should go for a health screening. Diseases and health complications that are a result of asbestos exposure seldom have symptoms that are obvious at an early stage. Therefore, screening before you get any symptoms might be ineffective. You should go for a screening if you know that you were a victim of serious asbestos exposure in the past. Screening for cancers like mesothelioma and lung cancer can potentially save your life. Although there is test that can check for mesothelioma, doctors can use a series of tests to administer preventive medicine. Make sure that you let your doctor know if you were ever exposed to asbestos because this can help your doctor make more informed choices regarding your diagnosis.