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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Why is Asbestos Hazardous?

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

General Why is Asbestos Hazardous? A microscopic view of the asbestos fibers.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos refers to six naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have the ability to resist heat, fire and electricity. These microscopic fibers are also resistant to most chemical reactions and breakdowns, resulting in a very versatile building material.

These properties resulted in asbestos being used for many years in a wide range of commercial and industrial settings, as well as in a large variety of consumer products. Although its use has diminished in recent decades, there are still many products that contain asbestos, especially in older homes, schools, and public buildings. 

Asbestos can still be found in many household items including drywall, flooring, ceiling tiles, etc. Since the late 1970s, the use of asbestos has almost stopped. However, homes and other buildings built before 1978 have a higher likelihood of testing positive for asbestos.

Why is Asbestos Hazardous?

The reason why asbestos is so hazardous is because when it becomes brittle, agitated, or destroyed, it breaks into microscopic fibers that become airborne and very easily inhaled. Because of the shape of these fibers, they cling to the lining of the lungs and possibly result in respiratory ailments. 

How Does SERVPRO Handle Asbestos?

When SERVPRO of Lake Forest South/Laguna Woods is called to inspect a home, the technicians must know what year the home was built. If the home was built in the late 1980s or earlier, an asbestos testing company must be dispatched and test the affected areas for asbestos.

If asbestos is not found, then the SERVPRO team can continue with their work on the property. If the asbestos testing comes back positive, an abatement company will need to come out in order to remove the affected areas in a safe manner. Once the removal process is complete, then the SERVPRO team can begin their work. 

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