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What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a strong and incombustible mineral fiber, used commonly for fireproofing and insulation in a variety of building and construction materials.

Asbestos is fibrous, will not conduct heat and electricity, does not disolve, does not emit any noticable odors, and is chemically inert.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber which can pollute air or water and cause cancer or asbestosis when inhaled. EPA has banned or severely restricted the use of Asbestos in many areas of manufacturing and construction.

Elevated levels of airborne asbestos can occur after materials containing asbestos are disturbed, either by cutting, sanding or other remodeling activities. This causes many problems in the renovation of older houses, where asbestos quantities are known to be present.

Where is Asbestos commonly found?

Asbestos is likely to be found in damaged, or disturbed old insulation, fireproofing, acoustical materials, and floor tiles.

Asbestos is commonly found in many types of building products and insulation materials made before 1970.

Asbestos Facts

Asbestos has been found in the following items:

Pipe and furnace insulation materials
Asbestos and cement shingles
Siding, and roofing
Resilient floor tiles
The backing on vinyl sheet flooring
Floor tile adhesives
Patching and joint compound
Fireproof gloves
Stove-top pads
Automobile brake pads and linings
Clutch facings

So the next time you decide to try and repair your own Gasket, perhaps you should think again!

The most dangerous asbestos fibers are too small to be visible, so don't bother trying to look for them.
Breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma (a cancer of the chest and abdominal linings), and asbestosis (irreversible lung scarring that can be fatal). The risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma increases with the number of fibers inhaled.

Symptoms of asbestos poisoning do not show up until many years after exposure.

Did you know
The only way to tell if an object contains asbestos by looking at it is if the material is labeled. Otherwise, you should have it sampled and analyzed by a qualified professional

This article on Asbestos and Mesothelioma Cancer is copyright 2005

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