What To Do About Asbestos

Is Asbestos Dangerous?
Asbestos has been shown to cause cancer of the lung andstomach according to studies of workers and others exposed to asbestos. Thereis no level of exposure to asbestos fibers that experts can assure iscompletely safe. Some asbestos materials can break into small fibers which canfloat in the air and these fibers can be inhaled. The tiny fibers are so smallthey cannot be seen with the naked eye. They can pass through the filters ofnormal vacuum cleaners and get back into the air. Once inhaled, asbestos fiberscan become lodged in tissue for a long time. After many years cancer ormesothelioma can develop.

What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber found in rocks,of naturally occurring silicate minerals that can be separated into fibers.There are several kinds of asbestos fibers, all of which are fire resistant andnot easily destroyed or degraded by natural processes. The fibers are strong,durable, and resistant to heat and fire. They are also long, thin and flexible,so that they can even be woven into cloth, because of these qualities, asbestoshas been used in thousands of consumer, industrial, maritime, automotive,scientific and building products. The above photo shows a typical asbestosinsulated heating pipe found in older homes. During the twentieth century, some30 million tons of asbestos have been used in industrial sites, homes, schools,shipyards and commercial buildings in the United States. There are severaltypes of asbestos fibers, of which three have been used for commercialapplications: (1) Chrysotile, or white asbestos, comes mainly from Canada, and hasbeen very widely used in the US. It is white-gray in color and found inserpentine rock. (2) Amosite, or brown asbestos, comes from southern Africa.(3) Crocidolite, or blue asbestos, comes from southern Africa and Australia.

How To Tell If Asbestos Is In A Home
People who have frequently worked with asbestos (such asplumbers, building contractors or heating contractors) often are able to make areasonable judgment about whether or not a material contains asbestos on avisual inspection. Many professional home inspectors also can make a reasonablevisual judgment. To be absolutely certain, an industrial hygienist would have tomake the identification.

What To Do About Asbestos In The Home

In most cases, asbestos containing materialsare best left alone. When it is necessary to disturb asbestos, you shouldcontact a licensed asbestos contractor. You can also obtain a copy of Asbestosin the Home published by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (800-638-2772) which discusses the situation and makes recommendations. Remember, donot dust, sweep, or vacuum particles suspected of containing asbestos fibers.

Ipull out all the stops to sell your home.
Lonnie Snyder
Keller Williams Realty Southeast Sound
Phone: 206-406-2710           

Lonnie Snyder is a full time real estate agent and REALTOR® withKeller Williams Realty specializing in Residential Real Estate for buyers andsellers in Washington's Kent, Renton, Newcastle and South Bellevue.

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