Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that can negatively affect a person's health when inhaled. Asbestos can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis, which is scarring of the lungs due to asbestos. Asbestos can be in a home without the occupants knowing it.
Age of the Home
It now is widely known that asbestos causes severe health problems. Up until 1970, though, home builders were not aware of the dangers. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if a home was built between 1930 and 1950, it may have asbestos in it. Asbestos was used in roof shingles, insulation and other building materials.
Vermiculate ore is sometimes used to produce attic and wall insulation. This type of ore, particularly vermiculate ore from Libby, Montana, may contain asbestos, according to the EPA. It's important to find out what a home is insulated with to protect those living there from asbestos exposure.
Gas-fired fireplaces use artificial embers and ashes. The EPA has said these artificial materials may contain asbestos. If artificial ashes and embers are present in a home's gas-fired fireplace, it is important to carefully read about the materials they are made of.
Oil and Coal Furnaces
An oil or coal furnace can indicate the presence of asbestos in a home. These furnaces, along with the door gaskets, may contain asbestos fiber, according to the EPA. The appliance should be examined carefully.
- Photo Credit thorax x-ray of the lungs image by JoLin from Fotolia.com
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