Is Asbestos Naturally Harmful?
Asbestos can be a serious problem to your home, your health, and the wellness of your family. If you suspect that your house is contaminated with asbestos, then take a moment to look through our website and contact First Choice when you are ready. Don’t let asbestos linger around your home any longer than necessary.
Asbestos is not itself hazardous. It was widely used in commercial and residential buildings until the 1970s in order to provide strength, heat insulation, and fire resistance to the building materials.
So what do you, as a home owner or commercial property manager, need to know about asbestos?
What is Asbestos?
According to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, Asbestos is the name given to a group of minerals that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of fibers that can be separated into thin, durable threads. These fibers are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals and do not conduct electricity. For these reasons, asbestos has been used widely in many industries.
Asbestos minerals are divided into two major groups: Serpentine asbestos and amphibole asbestos. Serpentine asbestos includes the mineral chrysotile, which has long, curly fibers that can be woven. Chrysotile asbestos is the form that has been used most widely in commercial applications. Amphibole asbestos includes the minerals actinolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, crocidolite, and amosite. Amphibole asbestos has straight, needle-like fibers that are more brittle than those of serpentine asbestos and are more limited in their ability to be fabricated.
How Was Asbestos Used In Building Construction?
Asbestos has been mined and used commercially in North America since the late 1800s, and its use increased greatly during World War II. Asbestos has been used in many industries. The building and construction industries have used it for strengthening cement and plastics as well as for insulation, roofing, fireproofing, and sound absorption. Asbestos has also been used in ceiling and floor tiles; paint, coatings, adhesives and plastics.
In the late 1970s, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the use of asbestos in wallboard patching compounds and gas fireplaces because the asbestos fibers in these products could be released into the environment during use. In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned all new uses of asbestos; however, uses developed before 1989 are still allowed. The EPA also established regulations that require school systems to inspect buildings for the presence of damaged asbestos and to eliminate or reduce asbestos exposure to occupants by removing the asbestos or encasing it. Widespread public concern about the health hazards of asbestos has resulted in a significant annual decline in the U.S. use of asbestos
What are the health hazards of exposure to asbestos?
People may be exposed to asbestos in their workplace, their communities, or their homes. If products containing asbestos are disturbed, tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. Over time, these fibers can accumulate and cause scarring and inflammation, which can affect breathing and lead to serious health problems. Asbestos has been classified as a known human carcinogen.
Do you have a construction or demolition project planned? If so that would need a qualified third-party expert to conduct asbestos testing that is required by Colorado state regulations. Remember there are over 3,000 products that asbestos is contained in under state regulations and we are fully licensed in Colorado to provide testing services to keep your project compliant and in alignment with Colorado regulations. We provide our asbestos testing services for residents and businesses in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Salida, Gunnison, Alamosa, Trinidad, Lamar, and all throughout southern Colorado.
First Choice Equipment Sales and Service is owned by Beth Hinton and Wade Lauhon. You already know Beth and Wade as two well-established and trusted experts in the field of fire and water damage restoration equipment, and they are committed to bringing their legendary commitment for customer satisfaction to their asbestos testing services.