Mesothelioma from asbestos is a known risk when fibers from asbestos float in the air and are inhaled by people. Sometimes this occurs in homes, businesses, schools or factories. Old heating pipe, boiler and fireproofing on steel structures frequantly contains asbestos. Although still common you should not assume it
is safe as mesothelioma is a known risk.
Fibers from asbestos have been known to cause asbestos related mesothelioma when fibers stick inside the lungs. It is belived fibers stuck in the lungs cause irritation and allow cancers to grow. Although mesothelioma takes many years to develop and it very often fatal.
State laws reguarding disclosuer varry. NNew Jersey home inspector regulations do not require home inspectors to point out environmental hazards including those that may cause mesothelioma, like asbestos. Many people who hire home inspectors are under the mistaken impression home inspectors will find asbestos and mesothelioma risks. Smart home inspectors look to find asbestos (others have no idea what they are looking for) and if material that may contain asbestos is found they alert the home buyer to the potential for mesothelioma.
As one might expect occupational exposure is usually more acute than residential exposure and more toxic. Many workers bring asbestos fibers home on their clothes where it floats around the home just waiting for children to inhale it. While most small children do not go to work they spend lots of time at home and have long lives ahead of them to allow mesothelioma to develop. Exposure to even to low levels of asbestos should be a concern.
Although excluded from our contract we tell frequantly tell clients insulation on the boiler and/or distribution piping is similar in appearance to materials known to contain asbestos and can cuase mesothelioma or. We can not say the insulation is asbestos during a visual inspection. We can say there is a very high probability the material is asbestos because it is simply not possible to visually determine if the material is asbestos with absolute certainty, laboratory analysis is necessary.
Since exposure to asbestos is a mesothelioma risk, consultation with a licensed asbestos contractor is necessary prior to expiration of your inspection contingency to determine the proper course of action and to obtain an opinion as the necessity of air or bulk samples and the risk of mesothelioma. Bulk samples are samples of the actual insulation, air samples are samples of the air in the home. Due to the age of construction, there may be other materials within the home that contain asbestos but are not identified by this inspection report. Asbestos fibers that get into the air represent a health hazard.
If you suspect it the insulation might contain asbestos and place you at risk for mesothelioma the next logical step is to order a lab test called a bulk sample where a section of insulation is brought back to the lab. If the sample is positive for asbestos air testing should be ordered to determine what an occupants exposure level is.
It is important not to disturb asbestos or allow contacts such as plumbers to disturb it during renovations or repairs either. Asbestos removal should be performed by trained people using all the required protective gear. Amateur asbestos removal frequantly results in higher levels of asbestos than was ever in the air before. If an owner represents the asbestos was properly removed contact the municipal health and building departments to be sure the necessary and required permits were obtained.
Improperly removed asbestos leaves fibers floating around in the air just about forever. Use common sense, avoid mesothelioma hire a professional!
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