Asbestos Hazard and Your Family’s Well Being

Asbestos is one of the major concerns among homeowners. How does asbestos affect our lives and health? Do you live in a house that contains asbestos?

Worksafe BC has issued warnings to remind homeowners about the dangers of breathing in asbestos fibers when renovating or demolishing their homes. If you are buying a home built prior to 1990, you should be cautious because it is likely that some parts of the home may contain asbestos. You should hire professionals for asbestos testing and proper removal.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material. Its strong and fire-resistant properties led to its use in more than 3,000 building material products from the 1950s to the 1990s. Ducts from the heating system, roof felt shingles, vinyl and linoleum flooring, and insulation may contain asbestos.

Asbestos fibers are extremely fine in that they can stay in the air for several hours. They are not visible to the naked eye. The fibers inhaled by the human body will remain in the lungs permanently. When inhaling over years, asbestos fibers form scarring around the lungs, eventually lead to various chronic lung diseases including lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, and pleural thickening.

Asbestos fibers are around 3–20 µm wide, which are 10 times smaller than the width of human hair. (Photo source: Worksafe BC)

Homeowners need not worry too much. Asbestos products pose no health risks to humans under normal circumstances. Asbestos is only harmful when materials containing asbestos are disturbed. Do not intervene with asbestos materials if you suspect your home contains asbestos.

When you are planning to renovate or modify a home built before 1990, get assistance from asbestos removal companies to identify and remove asbestos safety from buildings.

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