Everyone has heard of it, but they might not understand what asbestos is and does to your health. Even if asbestos is in your home, it does not automatically mean it will become a serious health hazard. The presence of asbestosis, in itself, is not hazardous. However, the danger lies in asbestos-containing materials that get damaged over time. Once damaged, they can release fibers, which then leads to serious health problems. Here is what you need to know about asbestos in the home.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was used in the past to strengthen heat insulation and fire resistance. It is identifiable with a specific type of microscope. There are many types of asbestos fiber.

What Health Effects Does Asbestos have?

On its own, undamaged asbestos does not pose a harmful threat to our health. It is once the fibers circulate in the air when there is a concern. Many studies were done on people exposed to asbestos in factories and shipyards, it can lead to a risk of developing lung cancer and asbestosis. The more fibers inhaled, the higher the risk. This means those who have prolonged exposure are much more likely to develop the above conditions than those who were minimally exposed.

Is Asbestos a Concern in New Buildings?

Most products made for construction today do not contain asbestos. Any products that do contain asbestos must be labeled as such. However, homes and buildings built pre the 1970s may contain products and insulation materials that contain asbestos.

Even if asbestos is in your home, it is usually not a major cause of concern, unless the fibers have begun circulating in the air. This is why it is important during any major construction or renovation of an older home to be done by professionals.