The Importance of Asbestos Air Testing For Home Safety

Asbestos in your home can result in risks to the health and safety of your family. That is why asbestos air testing is of utmost importance if you reside in a home that was built before 1990. If asbestos-containing materials are disturbed, the fibres can be released into the air, causing respiratory problems for anyone who has inhaled this toxic material. A home air quality test can help prevent future health problems down the line, ensuring that your home is safe to live in for you and your loved ones.

Read on to learn more about the importance of asbestos air testing for home safety and how Inch by Inch Inspections can help!

Health Risks Associated with Asbestos Exposure

The Importance of Asbestos Air Testing For Home SafetyThere are many health risks associated with asbestos exposure, specifically when its fine small fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled, they travel deep into the lungs and lodge themselves in the lung tissue. This causes problems later in life such as lung cancer, asbestosis (scarring of the lung tissue) and mesothelioma.

Sources of Asbestos in Indoor Air

Asbestos can often be found in older building materials. This is because people weren’t aware of the dangers of asbestos back before 1990. Only after people discovered it was toxic to health legislation was passed banning asbestos from being used in building materials. However, materials are still regularly found in buildings today.

These materials include:

  • Cement asbestos board siding/under sheeting
  • Asbestos roofing felt used for shingles
  • Asbestos insulation surrounding steam pipes
  • Certain vinyl floor tiles
  • Textured paint
  • Vermiculite insulation containing asbestos

When these materials are disturbed in a home renovation, for example, the asbestos fibres become airborne, posing a toxic threat to inhabitants.

What is Asbestos Air Testing?

In short, asbestos air testing is sampling the air in enclosed places such as the attic or basement.

How Asbestos Air Testing Works

Testing for asbestos fibres in the air typically involves two main methods: Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). These approaches differ significantly, and it's crucial to understand their distinctions before conducting a home air quality test.

PCM primarily counts the total number of fibres present in the air without distinguishing between asbestos and other types of fibres. Additionally, PCM may overlook smaller fibres, potentially underestimating the extent of asbestos hazards. This method is typically utilized when there's a known asbestos hazard, and a rough estimation of its presence is needed.

On the other hand, the more comprehensive TEM is capable of capturing even the finest fibres and specifically identifies asbestos fibres. This method provides a more accurate assessment of potential hazards associated with asbestos fibres in the air.

When to Conduct Asbestos Air Testing

Air testing is needed when building materials in your home are disturbed. This can happen during renovations, insulation removal, drilling drywall, attic deconstruction, etc.

Regular management of asbestos provides several advantages:

  • Adherence: Facilities like schools must undergo routine assessments to ensure adherence to both federal and local laws.
  • Anticipation: Scheduled evaluations enable swift responses in case our team identifies heightened levels of asbestos.
  • Record-keeping: Our team generates visual and written documentation during each assessment, facilitating future inspections.
  • Security: Older structures containing asbestos benefit from the reassurance of consistent monitoring for safety purposes.

What to Do If Asbestos is Detected

To ensure safety, it's important to prevent both people and pets from accessing the area and seek guidance from an asbestos removal specialist to handle the material safely. Certain types of insulation might resemble asbestos but are, in fact, made of mineral or fibreglass, which typically don't present health hazards. Identifying asbestos just by appearance isn't reliable; thus, it's advisable to enlist a professional to gather and analyze a sample for asbestos content.

Trust Our Experts at Inch By Inch Inspections

Inch By Inch Inspections has the necessary skills, equipment and expertise to carry out asbestos testing properly and professionally. They can advise you on how to deal with the problem and the next steps in asbestos removal if required. Inch By Inch Inspections trained technicians are professionals in what they do making the whole process simple and cost-effective, protecting you and your loved ones at home. Dealing with asbestos on your own is dangerous, so it is advised to contact Inch By Inch Inspections for professional assistance. 

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