Should I avoid all asbestos products?
Asbestos fibers are only harmful when they are released into the air. Today, asbestos used in building materials and many other products are bonded into the products. This process keeps them from being released into the air. There is little to no risk of harmful health effects from these products. However, take care not to sand, tear or otherwise damage or crumble the material. These actions can release the fibers into the air.
Do I need to remove asbestos materials from my home?
If you have asbestos materials in your home that are in good condition, it’s best to leave them alone. If you touch or disturb the material, you risk releasing the fibers into the air. Have materials inspected from time to time for signs of damage or deterioration. Intact material doesn’t pose a risk.
What if the asbestos material is damaged?
If you notice the material crumbling, a professional should come take a sample of the material and analyze it. If the material is asbestos and has damage, you will need to have it removed or repaired.
The goal of repair is to prevent asbestos fibers from being released into the air. Hire an asbestos professional to do the repair or removal. Don’t try to do it yourself. Improper handling of asbestos can create more of a health risk than leaving the material alone.
Will smoking increase my risk of asbestos-related disease?
Because asbestos-related diseases affect the lungs, smoking increases lung cancer risk in people who have been exposed to asbestos. People who have had asbestos exposure should take extra care not to smoke.