If your understanding of asbestos is a little murky, you’re not alone. You probably have a sense that asbestos is bad. And dangerous. But do you actually know what it is, where it’s found, how to identify it, or how to deal with it? Let’s do a quick dive into the world of asbestos so you can get up to speed on these basics–and stay safe in the process!
What is asbestos?
Okay, without getting too technical, asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that used to be mined all around the world. It is composed of flexible fibers that resist heat, electricity, and corrosion. For these reasons, asbestos became very popular in construction materials beginning around the 1940s. It was added to cloth, paper, plastic, drywall, and many other materials.
Except that it turns out asbestos exposure is highly toxic. People who inhale asbestos fibers (which then become trapped in the body) are at risk for a host of incurable lung conditions as well as aggressive cancers like Mesothelioma and Ovarian Cancer.
OK…not so cool. So, how do you avoid this stuff?
The short answer is, that it’s not that easy to know. But, before you panic, let’s keep a few things in mind:
Firstly, while it is important to know if you have materials containing asbestos in your home or business, asbestos is not harmful as long as you aren’t inhaling it. Practically speaking, this means that as long as asbestos products remain in good condition and are undisturbed, there’s no cause for alarm.
Secondly, serious adverse effects caused by asbestos usually result from long-term exposure. This isn’t to say that asbestos is not a serious concern (because it is), but it can give you some peace of mind to know that dealing with it properly and in a timely manner should reduce severely harmful outcomes.
Asbestos products were used heavily in Canadian construction between the 1940s and 1980s. Common asbestos-containing materials include insulation, ceiling tiles, roofing materials, plaster, and more. Safe Work Manitoba recommends that it’s best to test for asbestos if your home was built before 1990. This holds particularly true if construction materials in your home are being disturbed for any reason–like home renovations or any sort of unexpected damage.
Identifying and removing asbestos is not a DIY project. If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, it’s very important to get an expert on-site and have it dealt with safely and properly. Asbestos solutions can include removal but might also involve sealing or containing asbestos, depending on the situation.
Winnipeg Demolition provides professional asbestos removal services. Whether it’s part of preparing a site for demolition or simply helping you ensure your home or business is safe, we’re committed to providing safe and excellent asbestos removal in Winnipeg. Call us today for more information.