How Asbestos Testing Can Protect Your Health and the Environment

Asbestos, a toxic mineral linked to incurable diseases, is strictly regulated due to its health hazards when inhaled.

Many homeowners have questions about testing for asbestos in their homes. Ideally, you should test for asbestos before any renovation or repair that will disturb the material.

Helps You Avoid Exposure

Asbestos is a mineral that contains strong fibers, which make it an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. It was commonly used in various building materials and other products until the 1980s due to its remarkable insulating properties. Asbestos exposure can cause serious health complications such as mesothelioma, lung and digestive tract cancer, and lung scarring (asbestosis).

Lab testing Portland Oregon, can help you avoid exposure by letting you know where it may be in your home or workplace. If you’re in an area with ACM, you should ensure it’s not disturbed, which could release tiny asbestos fibers into the air.

People are primarily exposed to asbestos on the job, but secondhand exposure from family members is common. Workers who worked at the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City are also at higher risk of developing mesothelioma. Other at-risk groups include firefighters, auto mechanics, electricians, chloralkali and oilfield workers, and Navy shipyard workers.

Helps You Avoid Diseases

Asbestos can cause health problems if it is breathed in. Symptoms of asbestos exposure can include lung problems, such as pleural plaque, mesothelioma, and other cancers. These health issues can be fatal.

The best way to protect yourself from exposure is to have your home inspected for asbestos materials and to have any materials that could contain asbestos encapsulated by professionals. The best time to test for asbestos is before starting renovations in your home.

While a partial ban on asbestos was put in place in 1989, there are still traces of the material in homes and other buildings. Whether you are buying an older house or planning a major renovation, it is important to have asbestos testing done before beginning work.

Helps You Save Money

While asbestos was banned in 1989, it can still be found in many older homes. If you plan on doing home repairs or renovations, having a professional check for ACM before you disturb them is important. A home inspector can also perform an asbestos water test while they’re at your house to save you a separate inspection and testing fee.

An accredited asbestos professional will use a pump that draws a set air volume through a filter that collects airborne fibers. The atmosphere is then sent to a lab where professionals use microscopes to count and identify the asbestos fibers present.

It can be done in various places, including drywall, ceilings, floor tiles, insulation, and pipes. Since these materials often need to be disturbed to be tested, the professional will place a sheet or plastic cover over the area and wet it with a fine mist of water and detergent before sampling.

Helps You Protect the Environment

Asbestos testing can help you comply with local and state regulations regarding asbestos in schools and workplaces. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to protect workers from asbestos exposure. This applies to all employers, including city and state agencies.

While asbestos does not cause immediate symptoms, it can harm human health if not contained or managed properly. The best way to ensure asbestos is not disturbed or released into the air is to have an asbestos inspection performed by a professional inspector.

Asbestos testing involves visually examining all surfaces and carefully collecting and analyzing samples to determine the type and level of asbestos exposure. A certified inspector can provide a thorough evaluation, including a report of findings and recommendations for corrective action. This inspection is also an excellent opportunity for a chest X-ray and lung function test to detect inflammation and early-stage disease that may not appear in physical exam results.

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