Most people know asbestos is hazardous to your health. Many assume that asbestos is a problem of the past that only affected people in certain industries. This is not true. There are places and products that still contain asbestos today.
According to the American Lung Association, there are more than 3,000 products in use today containing asbestos. These products were used in the making of fireproof roofing, flooring, heating and acoustic insulation. It is found in older homes, and in some newer homes. Most asbestos was banned in the 70’s, but if your house was built or remodeled prior to 1970, some of these products used in your construction may contain asbestos.
Asbestos can also be found in your car brake pads, linings, clutch facings and various gaskets. Millions of brakes and clutches on cars, trucks, and on auto part shelves may still contain dangerous levels of asbestos, although it has not generally been used for the production of new brakes or clutches. If you are a shade tree mechanic who works on brakes or clutches, you may be exposing yourself to asbestos.
If you think you have asbestos in your home, you should immediately contact a professional to determine whether or not you do. Visual inspection alone can not determine if a product or material contains asbestos. Never try removing a product or material you believe contains asbestos on your own. Tearing down or breaking up the material can release more fibers into the room and will spread if the room is not properly sealed. Similarly, if you are buying a home built or remodeled prior to 1970, ask the seller whether the house contains asbestos. You may need to have the home inspected by a qualified person to determine if there is asbestos in the home, whether it poses a risk to the occupants, and what it will cost to remove or cover the asbestos.