Asbestos and Home Inspection
When buying a new pre-1986 home or renovating an existing older home, hiring a professional home inspector can help to identify potential or suspected toxic substances, and is an important step in ensuring the safety of the home. One of these toxic substances is asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral fiber that was added to construction materials like pipe insulation, ducts and duct insulation, floor tiles, attic and other thermal insulation, ceiling tiles, roofing, plaster and some types of paint.
When asbestos fibers are disturbed they can become airborne and are easily inhaled or ingested. These microscopic fibers can scar the lining of the lungs, abdomen and even the heart, causing health problems including asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer prognosis.
For these reasons, potential and current homeowners should take steps to protect themselves and their families from asbestos in the home by contacting licensed professionals.
Hiring an Inspector
There are professional companies that specialize in finding asbestos in the home or building (Robert A. Fico is an accredited EPA/AHERA Asbestos Building Inspector), and others which can also remove asbestos in the home or building. In a real estate transaction performing an asbestos property survey may be desired and is required prior to demolishing a building. These professionals are trained to test and handle hazardous materials. They can perform tests and also recommend proper course of action if asbestos is found.
Before hiring a professional, make sure you ask to see the inspectors credentials as noted above. It is also important to make sure that any information obtained during the inspection is given to you in writing.
Here is a link to the asbestos.com web site which describes the different types of asbestos.
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2010). Asbestos in Your Home. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/ashome.html#1
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2012). Asbestos. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (n.d.). Asbestos in the Home. Retrieved April 9, 2012, from http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/453.html