In the early 1800’s until 1978, asbestos was commonly used in building materials. Asbestos is a natural mineral composed of small, microscopic fibers that serves as a highly effective insulator. When exposed to chemicals or heat, asbestos does not break down. It does not conduct electricity, and it can buffer against noise as well.
Asbestos lurking in materials poses no risks unless you disturb it. When it becomes dust and microscopic fibers are released into the air, asbestos becomes extremely dangerous. It is crucial to have a professional examine your home or demolition project for asbestos testing. Otherwise, inhaled particles can cause lung-scarring illnesses and even lung cancer.
Because asbestos can’t be seen with the naked eye, you must submit materials to an EPA-certified laboratory for testing prior to a remodel. Even removing a sample to send to the EPA requires stringent precautions. At Insight Restoration, we have over 50 years of collective experience in asbestos testing and removal. We never recommend trying to remove asbestos yourself but if you feel that you will come into contact with it, please take notice on how to dress:
Require Protective Gear for Asbestos Testing:
- Disposable facemask
- Safety goggles (eye protection)
- Hard hat
- Disposable rubber gloves
- Disposable coveralls or long sleeves and long pants
- Shoe covers
- You’ll need to discard all items, except respirator, once complete.
Tips for Wearing Protective Gear
- Wear larger size clothes to easily move around
- Tape loose cuffs to seal
- Do not tuck overall or pants into boots
- Cover respirator straps with a hood
- Wear safety footwear without laces
- Wear disposable slippers over boots and remove before leaving the contaminated area
One common misconception about protective gear from asbestos is wearing a simple mask. Most masks are not going to protect your or your loved ones from the deadly fiber. A basic face mask that you can purchase at a home improvement store will offer very little protection. Asbestos dust and fibers can easily get around the edges of these types of masks, which puts your health at risk.
To safely work around asbestos, you need a half-face respirator that completely shields your nose and mouth and seals tightly against your skin. A properly fitted respirator will purify the air you breathe and block asbestos fibers from entering your nose or mouth. However, a high-quality, respirator-type mask alone is not enough to protect you from asbestos if you are in an area where asbestos has been disturbed by removal efforts, construction, renovation, flood, or fire.
Asbestos fibers can cling to your clothing, skin, shoes, or hair. It’s crucial that you coat yourself properly in protective gear when exposed to asbestos. Second-hand exposure to asbestos can have health consequences that are just as serious as it is for those directly exposed to this carcinogen.
If you find asbestos on your property, the key is proper removal. Choose a certified and experienced asbestos abatement contractor such as Insight Restoration. Our trained crews can successfully abate your property in a reasonable amount of time, providing a safe and habitable space in the future. Call us today for assistance at 208-427-2962.