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Asbestos Insulation

  • Many older houses will have asbestos insulation on the heating pipes. Sometimes the old cast iron boilers have asbestos on the interior insulating walls also. Believe it or not, when asbestos first came out it was required to be installed in all new construction. That is why so many buildings have it. It was considered a "miracle product" when it first came out because Asbestos has great insulating and fireproofing qualities. The only problem was that they did not know about the health problems associated with it until it was too late.
  • Asbestos causes lung cancer when it comes loose from the pipes and the fibers get into the air. Asbestos fibers are like tiny daggers and when you breathe them in, they stick into your lungs and stay there. The fibers cling to dust and can be stirred up off of the floor when someone walks in a basement. There are about 5 different diseases that are related to exposure to asbestos.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), has offices in every State which will provide anyone with free information and brochures on Asbestos, Radon Gas, Fuel Oil Leaks, Water Quality, and a lot of other environmental and health concerns that the homeowner needs to know about. Call your State EPA office and obtain their brochures for more information and advice.
  • There is (y/n)__________ evidence of possible Asbestos insulation in the house. Asbestos insulation usually has a white color and appears to have layers of ribbed cardboard in the middle sections. It is usually wrapped in an off-white canvas covering. However, the only way to know for sure if any insulation is Asbestos is to have a laboratory take an air sample. It is recommended that you contact a licensed Asbestos contractor or laboratory whenever there is any evidence of possible Asbestos insulation or if any doubts exist.
  • There are (y/n)__________ signs of residue or loose sections of Asbestos insulation in the house. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that Asbestos insulation be PROFESSIONALLY sealed or removed from the residence by an EPA licensed Asbestos contractor. This means, that the homeowner, the plumber, heating contractor, or any other handyman SHOULD NOT TOUCH any Asbestos in the house. Residue from Asbestos insulation on the heating pipes is sometimes noted by the existence of small white particles on sections of the pipes. This indicates that an Non-EPA licensed person removed the Asbestos!! It is highly recommended that an EPA licensed Asbestos contractor or laboratory be contacted for further evaluations prior to closing on the property if any evidence or doubts exist.
  • When an EPA licensed contractor removes Asbestos, they seal off the entire area where it is located and work with completely sealed suits over their bodies. They then set up a vacuum to remove all of the dust from the area. When the Asbestos is totally removed from the house, they then take an air sample to make sure they have not left any fibers lying around to be stirred up and breathed in later. Generally, any Asbestos behind the walls is left alone. If there is no access to it and it cannot be disturbed, there usually is not much of a health concern.

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