Asbestos is a type of naturally occurring mineral. It was widely used in the insulation of pipes and boilers, as well as many other building materials from the Industrial Revolution onward. It was generally phased out of the building process in the 1970s-1980s. If Asbestos is found, it can potentially crumble, leading to the dispensation of its particles in
air. Inhaling these Asbestos Fibers can lead to various fatal health risks like Lung cancer, cancer of larynx and mesothelioma.
Many older home still contain asbestos throughout the different products that it was used in. Apart from insulation, asbestos can also be found in the following household items:
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Window caulking and glazing
- Glue that attaches floor tiles
- Siding material
- Some forms of linoleum
- Roofing material
- Some forms of paint
- HVAC duct insulation
Remember to perform the following precautionary measures while inspecting the house:
- Avoid spreading asbestos dust.
- Dispose of all materials in the vicinity of the inspected area.
- The work site should be free of dust and debris.
- Do not let the members of the house or pets come near the hazard site.
- After inspecting the house make sure to clean the place.
- Do not break removed material into small pieces which would release asbestos.
- Dispose of all items after the completion of the job.
- Seals the inspection area from the rest of the house via plastic sheets and duct tapes.
First of all select the part of the house you want to inspect then check for any kinds of damages, tears, water leakage or abrasions. Asbestos cannot be identified by a naked eye, for that purpose you need some assistance in recognizing the material. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and polarized light microscopy (PLM) helps you in this process.
After that you can perform air sampling too, using phase contrast microscopy (PCM). It involves the usage of microscopy to count the fibers. PCM method determines the asbestos’
airborne occupational exposure limits. The recommended threshold value for asbestos is 0.1 fibers/ml over an 8 hour shift. This has been recommended by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.
Upon completion of the inspection do not forget to monitor the air one last time to check the presence of any asbestos material remaining.
For more information on Asbestos, click here.