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Asbestos Testing - Vermiculite Testing
Being exposed to asbestos can increase the risk of developing lung diseases and other. There is no known safe level of asbestos exposure. Asbestos fibers must be airborne to cause a health risk through inhalation and therefore the first step is not to disturb the material, which would release more fibers into the air. If the insulation is disturbed, the risk of inhaling some asbestos fibers is increased. Vermiculite insulation which is used in numerous products, including insulation for attics and walls can contain asbestos fibers and should therefore always be assumed to contain asbestos. For these reasons asbestos testing done by Genispec Engineers is an essential way to ensure health and safety in the property.
- Exposure to high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer in the forms of mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lining of the chest and the abdominal cavity as well as asbestosis, in which the lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue.
- People who get asbestosis have usually been exposed to high levels of asbestos for a long time. The symptoms of these diseases do not usually appear until about 20 to 30 years after the first exposure to asbestos.
- If disturbed, asbestos material may release asbestos fibers, which can be inhaled into the lungs. The fibers can remain there for a long time, increasing the risk of disease.
Asbestos testing is the only way to know if the property contains asbestos materials which may be a health hazard. Most products made today do not contain asbestos however, until the 1970’s, many types of building products and insulation materials used in homes and buildings contained asbestos.
If your property was built prior to 1980, it would be a good idea to have an Engineer investigate and test the property to have suspected materials sampled and analyzed because there may be an increased health risk if fibers are released. It is essential that a professional proceeds with this type of testing otherwise, if done incorrectly, sampling can be more hazardous than leaving the material alone. Taking samples yourself is not recommended and could be very dangerous.
- Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.
- Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos and vermiculite as insulation.
- Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints where the usage was banned in 1977.
- Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.
- Hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.
- Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.
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