What You Need to Know About Asbestos Air Testing
Asbestos is invisible in the air. Every time you take a breath, it enters your body and stays there. It slowly lodges itself with microscopic hooks into the tissue of your lungs every time you breathe.
Asbestos, was once a miracle cure to insulation woes, compounding fibers during construction, and while the health implications have been discovered, albeit a little too late, they are still commonly found in a number of homes. Asbestos isn’t a danger until it breaks down and enters the lungs. The reason this is such an issue, is you never really know when that break down is occurring because it is on a microscopic level. An asbestos air test will tell you if that asbestos fibers are in the air you breathe.
So What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a fibrous silicate mineral that is heat-resistant and commonly found in ceiling tiles, floor tiles, insulation, cement siding, and many other building materials. Although some uses of asbestos are banned in the US, many other uses continue to be legal. In addition, in many countries asbestos is not banned at all.
Asbestos is harmless as long as it remains inside the materials it’s used in. However, when those materials crumble due to age or are disturbed in the course of renovations or demolition, the fibers can enter the air and become a serious health hazard.
When breathed in, asbestos fibers lodge themselves in the lungs. Prolonged and excessive exposure to asbestos in the air can lead to fibrotic lung disease. Even low level exposure to asbestos can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma–all deadly diseases that kill thousands annually.
Should I Have an Asbestos Survey?
Asbestos testing, also called an asbestos survey, can help ensure that you and your family remain safe from this silent killer.
The US EPA requires that an asbestos survey be conducted prior to demolition or renovation to determine whether asbestos is present in materials that will be disturbed. We also recommend both an asbestos inspection and air testing in older buildings where asbestos materials may have become damaged due to age, as well as after any asbestos material removal or repair, to ensure no asbestos fibers have entered the air.
What Do I Need to Know to Ensure my Asbestos Air Test is Accurate?
We complete what is known as a TEM test. It is more accurate due to the size of fibers it is capable of detecting and when we report, we want it to be as accurate as possible. We collect a sample of the air through a pump and send that sample to the lab for analysis. It is fairly quick test to complete and get results. If there are asbestos fibers present we will report the recommendations to mitigate the asbestos found. Occasionally we see materials that may be the source of asbestos. In this case we may take a sample and have it tested as well. The objective is we know as much about the asbestos in the home as possible.
If you would like to know more about asbestos in your home, contact us today and we can recommend an asbestos survey to fit your needs. Contact us today to discuss your options.