Asbestos Information

Asbestos is a tiny fiber that was used in the past primarily as insulation. It was also added to some building materials to provide added strength and flame resistance. The problem with asbestos is that it has been shown to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma in individuals that were exposed to large amounts of free floating asbestos fibers in the air. These conditions typically did not become apparent until around 30 years after the exposure. Because of the health hazards of asbestos fibers, its use in insulation and paint was banned in the 1970’s. You can also go to the following web site for additional health information www.pleuralmesothelioma.com

What you need to know about asbestos

Asbestos was thought to have been banned in the late 1970's. However it was overturned without much announcement. It is still legal to use Asbestos and it is present in many more building products than you would think. Even as recent as the early 2000's, the EPA has found Asbestos in several products.

Renovations or demolitions of materials containing asbestos can release the fibers into the air. Therefore, the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) requires the owner of any property containing asbestos building materials to get an asbestos inspection prior to any demolitions or renovations of that property.

How can asbestos be removed?
Homeowners are permitted to remove Asbestos from their homes. However they can not dispose of it. It must be placed in marked containers and collected by a certified company. And there are other limits, such as not being permitted to remove Asbestos 6 months before selling a home. Or transferring Asbestos to another location, even if you own both. Please review the State of NH requirements before attempting to remove Asbestos on your own. Even then, it is only suggested if you are removing small amounts still left behind. Due to health risks, larger projects should still be done by professionals.

How do I know if my home contains asbestos?
Asbestos can only be detected by a special microscope. This requires a sample to be taken to a lab. However very often old components such as steam heat insulation, air duct wraps, exterior siding, roofing shingles and even floor tiles are known to have asbestos.

In most cases I can clearly identify those components. As with any remodeling, repair or construction project in an older home (I can't believe I am saying a 70's home is an older home), be careful and use a mask, protective eye wear and clothing.